Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Petite Polenta Peppers

We love polenta, corn maize, masa harina.......whatever.  We use it in various guises.  It's all good.  Last weekend I made these little masa harina and corn maize stuffed peppers and they were very much appreciated from the 'Phil Culinary Corner'. 
The time before I used a mixture of polenta and corn maize but this time it was corn maize and masa harina - it depends on what I have left in the cupboard at the time but I find they all basically give similar results.  I have also stuffed large peppers or mushrooms with this basic mixture before and any left over mixture I just put in greased ramekins and pop in the oven with a slice of vegan cheese on top to bake at the same time as the stuffed vegetables.
Petite Polenta Peppers
2 pints of water
8 sun dried tomatoes
20 little sweet peppers
1 onion
Bit of garlic to taste
Herbs, spices and flavours to taste (see recipe for what I used this time)
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil (or your preferred oil)
1 1/2 tsp salt
200g polenta/corn maize/masa harina
Cheese for topping if you wish
1.  Roughly chop the sun dried tomatoes then pop into a heatproof bowl with one pint of the water (boiled).  Let them sit soaking whilst you continue to measure out and prepare everything else.
2.  Cut the top of each pepper off and remove the seeds as carefully as you can whilst leaving the pepper intact.  Set aside.
3.  Finely chop the onion and fry with the garlic in a little oil.  Add in any flavourings at this stage you wish.  I used oregano, parsley, mint, fenugreek and a touch of chilli sauce this time.  Set aside once softened.
4.  Drain the sun dried tomatoes and set aside, reserving the soaking liquid.  Put this liquid in a pan with the remaining pint of water, rapeseed oil and salt and bring this to a boil.
5.  Once the liquid is boiling gradually whisk in the polenta/corn maize/masa harina vigorously over a low to medium heat for approximately 5 minutes.  Do not allow it to stick to the bottom of the pan so you may have to employ some muscle action here.   It will stiffen up and start coming away from the sides of the pan when it is ready. 
6.  Stir in the sun dried tomatoes and onion mixture until incorporated well.
7.  Fill the peppers and then place on an oiled tray.  Brush with a little oil then roast for about 30 minutes or until the peppers are soft and slightly browned. 
8.  If you have any polenta mixture left over fill greased ramekins and pop in the oven at the same time with a slice of cheese on top.

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