"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Leaning Stacks of Polenta

This is my second time cooking with polenta (the first was a polenta lasagna). The goal was to use up the ingredients in my refrigerator while making a light late afternoon lunch for two. The fun part was making it look fancy. I'm still learning what flavors taste great with polenta, cheese and marinara definitely come to mind. I still haven't made my own polenta, I have been buying the rolls of it from Trader Joe's, but I would like to make my own and leave it soft for a shrimp and grits, except shrimp and polenta type of meal. I used the left over polenta to cut into small cubes and broil in the oven for croutons for my salad. As I am writing this post I am listening to Amos Lee's "Keep it loose, keep it tight." Aside from his beautiful voice and relaxing melodies, the lyrics really spoke out to me and I just wanted to share them, well one line "we all need a place where we can go and feel over the rainbow." I guess we can all interpret this how we want but it's a beautiful that all people are more similar than we think and while we might have different jobs, different relationships, different lifestyles, we all need a place, whether mental or physical to feel over the rainbow.

Leaning Stacks of Polenta
(Makes 3 leaning stacks)
6 slices of polenta, 1 1/2 inches thick
Haricot green beans
1 large shallot, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
Marinara sauce
Olive oil
Garlic powder
Ground pepper
Dried chili flakes

1. In a pan over medium hight heat saute the shallots with a bit of olive oil. Mix around for a few minutes then add the green beans and celery. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder and ground pepper.
2. Add the polenta slices to the pan and lightly drizzle the top with olive oil. Sprinkle on garlic powder, ground pepper and chili flakes. Let the polenta slices cook on each side for about 5-6 minutes, or until the top of the slices get a slightly golden hue.
3. Place one slice of polenta on a plate, top with the green bean and celery mixture and top with another slice of polenta.
4. Drizzle the top of the polenta stack with some marinara. Enjoy!

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