Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

I’m always looking to try new food creations and that’s exactly how this came to be.  Yes, it’s another pulled pork recipe.  Who doesn’t like pulled pork?  This can very easily be made with bbq chicken as well.

While I was in culinary school we made polenta often.  I will tell you right now, I haven’t made it in years.  I cheated in this recipe and actually bought an organic polenta I found in a roll at the store.  When I was shopping and came across it, I just had to buy it and give it a try.  Hey, it is organic.  I’m sure it’s not the greatest since it’s in a roll, duh! However, sometimes you just need to give something a try.  It worked out perfectly for what I was wanting to use it for.

This recipe is pretty simple and would be PERFECT for a small dinner party.  I’m not adding my pulled pork recipe but if you need it, check it out in my previous blogs.  This is simply going to be giving directions on how to crisp up this rolled polenta  and assembling.  The flavors in this recipe are amazing. From the creamy ricotta to the heat from the pulled pork and the jalapeño this is one delicious bite of food.

Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

Ingredients:
Polenta roll, sliced 1/2 inch slices
4 T butter
1 T Olive Oil
3/4 cup ricotta
2 jalapeños, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cups cooked pulled pork

Directions:  Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add in half the butter and olive oil and heat 2 minutes.  Add in sliced polenta and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.  Next add in the remainder of the butter and oil and flip the polenta and cook for another 4-5 minutes.  You can cook longer to your preferred the polenta cake crispier.  Remove the polenta cake and place on paper towel.

To Assemble:  Add a spoonful of ricotta over the polenta, then top with a spoonful of pulled pork next add the sliced jalapeño and diced onions.  You can add more bbq sauce to the pork if you like it saucier.  Sever and enjoy immediately.

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Herbed Goat Cheese Wonton Bites

Let’s talk about goat cheese! I’ll be honest, for years I use to avoid it. I just never thought about using in in dishes or cooking with it. A few years back I had a friend that turned me onto it and ever since I’ve been hooked. I don’t buy it often but when I do, I love to incorporate into different dishes. I now put ontop of pizza, in pasta, with eggs and also make cute little appetizers like these.

This is a simple dish. It may take a bit of time just stuffing the wrappers but this is perfect for an appetizer and the goat cheese mixure can be made ahead of time to cut down on time.

Herbed Goat Cheese Wonton Bites

Ingredients:
24 Wonton wrapper
8 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 t dried or fresh oregano
2 t dried or fresh parsley
2 t dried or fresh thyme
1 garlic clove
1 shallot
2 T olive oil
1/2 t crushed red pepper
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Olive oil spray
1/4 cup sriracha or chili sauce, for dipping

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor add in goat cheese, garlic clove, shallot and spices. Pulse slowly while drizzling in olive oil. Pulse until creamy. If mixture becomes too think, add more oil slowly. Taste and add more seasoning as needed.

Add a spoonful of goat cheese to the middle of the wonton wrapper. Fold the edges in and place in a mini muffin tin. Complete with all remaining wonton wrappers.

Spray Olive oil over the wonton wrappers. (This will help brown the wontons.)

Bake in oven 12 minutes then remove from oven and cover loosely with aluminium foil. Add back in the oven and cook for another 6-7 minutes. Using the foil will help make sure the top of the wonton wrappers don’t burn while cooking the bottoms.

Make sure to keep an eye on these as they can burn quickly. Serve warm with sriracha or chili sauce.

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Caprese Bruschetta

This Caprese Bruschetta is a great starter for any meal or even for a light snack or lunch.  It’s light and fresh tasting and the flavors are just amazing.

The Italian in me is a huge fan of caprese salad.  I love fresh mozzarella with a juicy ripe tomato.  With this dish I just added some garlic crostini and turned it into a bruschetta.  I could seriously make 20 of these and eat every last one of them.

This dish is definitely great for the summer as it’s light and fresh but it’s so great I’ll eat it all year long.  It’s like a mini open faced tomato and mozzarella sandwich.  Who wouldn’t enjoy that?  🙂

Caprese Bruschetta

Ingredients:
10-12 Garlic crostini (Homemade or store bought) (Recipe below)
4-6 Campari tomatoes, sliced and chilled (or any tomato)
6-8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced or chopped
2 T Olive oil
1 T Basil, dried or fresh basil, chiffonade
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Crostini:
1 Baguette sliced 1/3 inch thick
1/3 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 T parsley
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400°.  Add sliced baguette to a baking sheet.  In a bowl mix together oil, garlic, parsley and salt & pepper and mix well.  Brush the oil mixture onto the crostini and bake in oven for 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Keep an eye on the crostini so they don’t burn.

To assemble, add mozzarella to crostini and top with tomato slice. Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

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