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This is my new favorite way to make polenta. It is so simple and versatile. I found the basic recipe at dinnerthendessert.com. I’ve only ever made half Sabrina’s recipe because it makes too much for us. Even so, I’d say half her recipe still serves six people. I think we could get away with halving it again, but I’ve been pretty happy using up the leftovers (think eggs over polenta-yummy!). I think any kind of cheese would do, it just depends upon what you’re going to serve with it. I’ve used Parmesan. I’d like to see a slightly firmer product, but I’m working on it. I buy polenta, but Sabrina says you can use corn meal. Lastly, she also says you can stir in a lot of different things, like shallots or garlic or lemon. I haven’t yet tried that.

Since there are no wheat products in this, I think we can safely say it is gluten-free. I use polenta in the same way I use mashed potatoes.

Mushroom Steak Tips over Creamy Cheesy Baked Polenta
  • Ingredients
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together water, polenta, salt, pepper, and butter in a 2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream and cheese. Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes, uncovered. Serves 6.

I’ve just returned from California with a bag of Meyer lemons from a tree in my dad’s back yard. This recipe does not require Meyer lemons, but it’s what I had. Also called Limoni de Amalfi Cotti al Forno, the recipe comes from Jamie Oliver (Jamie’s Great Italian Escapes – 2004 – Food Network – Amalfi Baked Lemons). I love this dish because it combines so many ingredients that I love. Anchovies, yes! Basil, yes! Tomato, yes! Lemon, yes! It’s a bit of a messy dish, but oh, so yummy!

  • Ingredients
  • 3 large lemons
  • Approximately 6 oz. Mozzarella (I used Mozzarella Pearls)
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 anchovy filets
  • 3 cherry tomatoes (I used 12 grape tomatoes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toasted bread (I used baguette slices)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the tops and bottoms off the lemons, then slice the lemons in half cross-wise. Carefully remove the lemon pulp with a knife. Set the lemon rinds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Place a slice of mozzarella into the bottom of each lemon cup (I was using Mozzarella Pearls so I put four of them into the bottom of each lemon). Next add a basil leaf, then half of an anchovy filet, and then half of a cherry tomato (or two grape tomatoes sliced in half). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with another slice of Mozzarella. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and scoop the filling out of the lemon onto a piece of toasted bread. Eat it while it’s still warm and melty!