Two nights ago I was chatting on the phone with my friend Kathleen, of Italian cuisine fame, and as I rattled pots and pans while tidying away the clean dishes, the conversation eventually found its way to culinary themes. Kathleen inquired as to what I was fixing for dinner that night, and I replied that I still had no idea (a rare occasion, as I commit an inordinate amount of brain power throughout the day to pondering the delightful possibilities for the evening menu) but I was quite certain I wanted to continue experimenting with my new immersion blender!
"Hmmm," Kathleen replied, "One naturally thinks of soups for an immersion blender, but how about a sauce? Perhaps something with tomatoes... and Greek yogurt..."
Have I mentioned that Kathleen is brilliant?
Herbed Polenta with Creamy Tomato and Greek Yogurt Sauce
1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
3 cups 1% milk
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 large (28oz) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
1/3 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
Vegetarian "chicken patties," such as Morningstar Farms brand (optional)
Shredded cheddar cheese
~ In a medium sized pot or saucepan, stir together the cornmeal, milk, and broth, and gradually bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly.
~ Stir the oregano, basil, rosemary, and garlic into the polenta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
~ Continue to simmer the polenta, reducing the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, until the cornmeal is tender and the mixture has thickened. If the polenta thickens before the cornmeal is tender, stir in additional broth and keep simmering...
~ Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, saute the onion, green bell pepper, garlic, and celery in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the onion is limp and translucent.
~ Stir in the fire roasted tomatoes, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and allow the sauce to continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the liquid from the tomatoes just begins to reduce.
~ Decrease the heat to low, and stir in the Greek yogurt.
~ Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the sauce until smooth.
~ Rewarm gently until the sauce is just until heated through.
~ If you're using the vegetarian "chicken patties," heat them either in the microwave or the oven.
~ To serve, spread a layer of polenta on the plate, topped with some of the creamy tomato sauce. If you're using the vegetarian "chicken patties," place one on top of the tomato sauce for each serving. Spread a bit more tomato sauce on top, sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, and garnish with minced parsley!
There's still time to enter the Guessing Game Peanut Butter Giveaway, which is open until midnight tonight, Friday, March 12th!
On the blog this time last year... Tunisian Bean and Spinach Stew!