Monday, May 30, 2011

Polenta Stuffing (which turned into Polenta Stufffed Jalapenos)

Polenta Stuffed Jalepeno Peppers with a Creamy Lime Sauce
(adapted from Polenta Stuffing recipe, page 66)

I kept looking at the recipe for Polenta Stuffing in Appetite for Reduction, but I just wasn't feeling inspired. It's a stuffing recipe, so I felt like it needs to, you know, stuff something. Isa suggests using it to top off something like the Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potatoes. Now, while I'm sure that's quite yummy and delicious, that's not exactly stuffing... that's dressing.

So I mulled it over for a while, thinking about what I might stuff with this stuff. I went with jalepenos for an appetizer sort of dish to go with our Memorial Day cookout. I think it would also work well to stuff poblano peppers, as more of a main dish. Anyway, the end result here turned out very different than Isa's original recipe for Polenta Stuffing, but I think I rocked this dish. It's so good, in fact, that I'm going to share my recipe adaptation with y'all.

A few words on the use of oil: I went ahead and used the same amount of oil called for in the original recipe, because I was worried about the polenta sticking during the sauteing step. Even with a well-seasoned cast iron pan and the oil, I still had sticking issues, and my polenta cubes eventually fell apart. My stuffing turned out softer and less cube-y that what is intended in the original recipe, but for stuffing those jalepenos, that turned out to be the perfect thing, anyway.

Polenta Stuffed Jalepenos with Creamy Lime Sauce
(Adapted from Polenta Stuffing, page 66, from Appetite for Reduction)

12 jalepeno pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
18 ounces prepared polenta, cut into small-ish cubes (I used a sundried tomato and garlic variety)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 small onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
pepper and salt, to taste
1 box of silken tofu, rinsed well
Juice of 3 limes
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

Cut a lengthwise strip from each pepper. Remove and set aside for another use, like salsa or something. Remove the seeds and white parts from the inside of the pepper and discard. Rinse, if necessary, to get all the seeds out. Don't touch your eyes! Wear gloves, if you must.

Preheat a large pan over medium-high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with 1 teaspoon of the oil, and add the polenta. Saute for 12 to 15 minutes, tossing often. If the polenta starts to stick to the pan, that's okay - just scrape up the sticky parts and toss it around.

Add the celery, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, and the remainder of the oil. Saute for another 7-10 minutes. By this time, the polenta should be mostly falling apart and getting mushy. Towards the end of your cooking time, dribble in a little water and stir things around until you get a softer consistency that is good for stuffing those peppers. Make sure you scrape up all the browned, sticky bits from the bottom of the pan and mix that in, too. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Using a spoon, stuff the jalepeno peppers with the polenta mixture. Then, you can either grill these or bake for 10-15 minutes in 425F oven.

To make the sauce, place the tofu, lime juice, granulated garlic and onion, salt, and nutritional yeast in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.

El Hombre grilled our stuffed jalepenos. Muy delicioso!


Brenna said...

You definitely have the gift of making people drool!

NodToStyle said...

those look amazing!!

Julie Ann said...

Aw,thanks to both of you! :-)

SaraJane said...

What a great idea for using that recipe. I'm definitely going to try it this way!

lazysmurf said...

Wow! That looks fantastic!

saparks said...

just made these with bigger peppers and mango bbq beans....delicious!