Thursday, November 3, 2011

Easy as Polenta Pie

When my family asks, "What's for dinner," and I reply, "Mama's Soup Surprise," they get a little nervous.  Sometimes I fix something for dinner that doesn't go over too well.  My family politely says, "You don't have to fix this again." 

Last night, however, I came up with something that everyone at the table liked.

Following is our meal, that I "invented."
Layer on the plate:
     A slice of Polenta Pie
     Fried and Mashed Beans
     Sliced and fried Sausage
     Fresh Tomato Sauce
     Sour Cream
     Shredded Cheese

The recipes for the polenta, beans, and sauce are below.

Polenta Pie
3 cups water
1 cup cornmeal grits
½ t. salt
1 T. butter

Bring the water and salt to a boil.  Add the grits and turn the heat to Low.  Cook slowly for 40 minutes.  Spread in an oiled pie plate.  Let it cool and set.

Fried and Mashed Beans
1 onion, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 can red beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup water (or broth or cooking wine)

Saute the onions in the oil at medium heat.  Add the beans and mash with a potato masher.  Mix in the water and heat all the way through.

Fresh Tomato Salsa Sauce
8 – 10 cups of fresh tomatoes*
2 T. olive oil
1 green or yellow pepper, diced
3 small onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. chili powder
2 t. dried oregano
2 t. dried cilantro

*Note:  Depending on the size and type of tomato, they can either be peeled and diced, or they can be cooked down and put through a rotary food press.

Saute the onions and peppers in the oil.  Add the tomato pieces or cooked tomatoes along with the herbs and spices.    Cook slowly to reduce the sauce.