Saturday, June 28, 2008

Polenta with blue cheese and black beans; polenta lasagna; beet cake

Prepare this recipe for polenta squares with gorgonzola black beans, but substitute half the vegetable broth for red cooking wine, and use blue cheese since the grocer had a minimal cheese collection. If you are me, worry that the recipe won't make enough for four people, so double it, and end up with twice as much as you need.

Plate the polenta squares in the kitchen, and top with a simple light tomato sauce: just heat
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 large slicing tomato, washed and diced
  • fresh parsley, fresh basil, and a little salt.

Since you will have too much polenta, make the leftovers into polenta lasagna. Prepare the fillings, then make layers and cook until casserole is warm throughout:
  1. Polenta leftovers should press easily as a bottom layer and a top layer
  2. canned diced tomatoes, possibly warmed up, make a great layer by themselves
  3. spinach should be washed and sauteed with onions and mushrooms and summer squash — remember that spinach cooks down a lot
  4. ricotta cheese can be used as-is, or combined with grated parmesan.

The same night I made the polenta squares, my boyfriend made a "red velvet" beet cake. He followed this recipe, but didn't put in all the sugar, added some cocoa powder, and used three fresh beets (washed, peeled, chopped, boiled, and blended) in place of the canned beets. This, it turns out, is a lot of beet: I liked how vegetal the cake resulted, whereas he did not. For frosting, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.

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