32 years of imagining, and then converting into one of my hobbies... I hope you'll enjoy it... (^.^)/ , by Marina

March 14, 2012

Cuban Party #3 - Polenta Cups

Now it's time for a bit of salt. Here is one of the salty dishes - not a very quick one but surely delicious!
Polenta with a stuffing made of smoked bacon, smoked tofu and oyster mushrooms. Mmmm..... njammmi!
Rather easy in all steps, except for one that requires a bit of patience ;).

Total time: 2h (30' cooking, 1h resting, 30' filling)
Serves: 4-6 persons
Difficulty: moderate
Calories: ~200 kCal/cup

- 3 cups coarse corn flour, or polenta
- 1/2 cup of diced smoked bacon
- 50 gr oyster mushrooms
- 1/2 cup of smoked tofu (with basil if available)
- 5cm of spring onion
- fresh persil leaves, chopped
- pinch of rosemary, chopped
- pinch of salt
- olive oil available

To bake the batter you can use different forms, in my case I used silicon cupcakes. You can also use metal ones, just mind it will be much better to use non sticking surfaces.

  1. Prepare the polenta according to the instructions given on the package. It shouldn't be too liquid, so either use a bit less water or cook some more until it's thick. Put in the rosemary and salt while it's cooking.
  2. Prepare a few deep but narrow containers. I used pound cake baking molds such as shown here. Grease the mold with some olive oil. This will allow the polenta to be removed easier.
  3. When the polenta is done, fill in the molds and set to cool down.
  4. You can start now with the filling. Chop the persil, slice the spring onion in diagonal stripes, prepare the bacon and tofu cubes and cut the mushrooms in small dices.
  5. Preheat some olive oil in a pan, or use a non sticking one. Add bacon and cook until crispy.
  6. Remove it from the pan, and now add the mushrooms. Cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes, then add half the spring onion and persil and cook for another few minutes.
  7. Set again in a separate container. Now you have all the ingredients ready. We're waiting for the polenta to cool down completely.
  8. .... la la la.... la la la...
  9. Weee ready! :)
  10. Okidoki! Time for action. You will need two circle cutters - a bigger one and a small one - to make the polenta cups. Grease the cutters with olive oil, it will make the cutting much easier and the polenta won't stick.

    Round Cutters
    If you have them great, if not you can use
    a glass instead of the bigger one, as I did :).
    Smaller circle
    For the inner part I used the bottom of my
    flower cutter. A teaspoon will work as well ;).
  11. Start with the big circle. Cut out cylinders of polenta, slowly yet firmly to avoid breaking. Then using the smaller one make a hole in the center, ~3/4 of the actual height. Be careful not to cut it through completely and if needed use a teaspoon to help you dig the hole. :)
  12. Prepare your serving tray and start the filling. Fill in the cups with bacon, mushrooms and tofu in layers, adding at the top few stripes of spring onion.
  13. You can decorate them with some persil leaves and a few drops of olive oil.

  • Add some olive oil to the polenta while cooking. Easier to mix, extract and gives it a nice aroma :).
  • The polenta is much better if done from real flour rather than the instant one. Of course that prolongs the cooking, since it will now take you about 30' to cook, instead of 3', but it's worth it!

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