The most creative recipes in our home come to life around the end of the week, when we’re trying to scramble together the last contents of our fridge and pantry shelves into something delicious and nutritious. Its a challenge I like to take on although, the results can be hit or miss. Thank goodness I’m married to someone who loves my food, and after seeing me pluck and gut a chicken thinks I am going to be the next Julia Child 😉
This last Friday night I got lucky. One of our friends gave us a whole jar of fresh homemade goat cheese and another friend brought me fresh tomatoes from her garden. I put these two ingredients on the kitchen table and started raiding the fridge: a few slices of bacon, a block of cheddar cheese, two sticks of butter, and some leftover Masa Harina. As soon I saw that I knew exactly what I was making – cheesy polenta with bacon and tomatoes. In my corn tortilla post I explained that Masa Harina means “flour dough” in Spanish and it is simply corn that has been dried, cooked, soaked in lime water, and then ground. You can make your polenta with regular corn meal too. I prefer the masa harina because it is soaked in lime water which releases B 3vitamins, increases calcium quality, and reduces both phytic acid and mycotoxins (source).
- 2 cups of Masa Harina, you can find it here or just plain corn meal
- 4 and 1/2 cups of water or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1 cup of medium cheddar cheese
- 1 pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt
- 1 pinch of cracked pepper, you can find it here
- 5 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped finely’
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup of fresh goat cheese
- 1 poached egg
- fresh cracked pepper
- fresh spring of dill
- Preheat the oven to 400*F.
- In a medium sized pot, bring the 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and add the Masa Harina slowly to reduce clumping and start stir constantly.
- Once it starts to bubble, add the butter.
- As soon as it begins to thicken, add the cheese.
- Let it bubble for a few more minutes, then place in a buttered bread pan.
- Cook in the oven for twenty minutes, or until golden on top.
- Take it out and let it cool off so it can thicken up. I left mine in the fridge over night.
1. Fry the bacon. After it cools, chop it into small pieces.
2. Chop the tomatoes finely.
3. Slice the polenta into bread-slice-sized and fry using the left over bacon drippings. You wont regret it. Are you scared of saturated fats? You shouldn’t be, and here is why.
3. After its all warmed through and golden brown on the outside, slather them with fresh raw goat cheese and pile high with the finely chopped bacon and tomatoes, and sprinkle on some fresh cracked black pepper to taste and if you some fresh dill. I didn’t have any:-( We ran out!
4. Another way to enjoy this delicious fried polenta, if you are vegetarian, ran out of bacon, or having this for breakfast, is topped with a fresh poached egg.
5. We even made one with just fresh goat cheese and tomatoes. You decide what you want to try! We had all of these three options and they were all divine. The possibilities are endless, and making a few different kinds could make for some exciting appetizers.