In preparation for a little cocktail party tonight,
I am making some appetizers using lentils and polenta.
Lentil Polenta is so easy to prepare,
takes very little time to cook,
and is a really versatile dish.
(not to mention nutritious and delicious)
For Lentil Polenta
1 cup water
2 cups milk
1/2 cup polenta
1/2 cup split red lentils
1/2 cup Boursin Pepper cheese or soft goat cheese
2 tbsp grated parmesan
3-4 fresh mint leaves, stacked, rolled and slivered with a sharp knife.
Lightly oil a flat pan to hold the polenta when cooked and set aside.
Because this cooks quickly once started,
it’s best to gather all your ingredients within reach before you begin.
Bring 1 cup of water to boil.
Add lentils and simmer until softened.
Add milk and gently bring back to simmer (being careful not scorch)
Stream in polenta continuing to stir until the mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in cheeses and mint.
Quickly scoop mixture into prepared pan,
smoothing as much as possible with the back of a dampened spoon.
Set aside until you are ready to assemble the appetizers.
For Fig Confiture
1/2 lb dried figs (about 15), roughly chopped (I used scissors)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup balsamic or blood orange vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp peppercorns – optional (use a sachet or tea strainer)
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Place figs, sugar, vinegar and water in saucepan.
If using peppercorns, drop the sachet or tea strainer in the pan too.
Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until most of liquid is absorbed.
Scoop into a blender and puree (I left it a big chunky – *see note below)
Stir in lemon juice.
Putting it all together
Once polenta has cooled and set
decant onto a flat surface.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out small shapes.
Heat a heavy skillet or barbecue grill plate and brush with oil.
Sauté the shapes until slightly browned on each side.
Top with slightly warmed fig confiture.
…serve with a perfectly chilled white…
…but not before my taste tester gives his approval.
Galley Kat Notes:
*To maintain the integrity of this blog to prepare things
that can easily be recreated onboard our sailboat,
(tiny sink with hand pump faucet,
1-burner alcohol stove,
1 cockpit parbecue,
about 8″ of counter space,
and the continual concern about draining the battery)
I puréed the fig mixture in my little hand blender.
It worked like a charm and not one ampere of battery power was sacrificed.
And did I mention versatile?
Cook once – eat twice
has become my Galley Kat mantra.
What to do with all the bits once the pretty shapes have been cut…
Fry them on the grill too and set aside for another meal.
They make a delicious easy breakfast before heading out for a day of sailing.
Not the most attractive presentation
but they are so good served with a splash of maple syrup
or some more fig confiture
or my favourite