Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It's Paper Chef time. I am so excited because it has been several months since I participated. This month the ingredients of choice were: anchovies, figs, polenta and mint. I didn't like my first creation, although if I played with it more I probably could have come up with something more suitable. The second creation was pretty good. Great for bruschetta.
And Lawd! I have to tell you that polenta fries are awesome. Crunchy and corny, they were awesome with the tapenade and this (below) raspberry salsa.

This pic is a rockin' Saturday night date with my hubbie. Bailey's Irish Cream, polenta fries and a game. This is how we spend most Saturday nights. Usually it's Scrabble but we decided this past weeked to live on the edge and play Battleship. Yeah Baby. But seriously, when you are married with young children this is a great, free date! Works for us!

On with the recipes.

Minted Fig Canapes

1 clove garlic, minced
8 dried figs
1/2 cup of port
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried
1 1/2 anchovies
1 tablespoon capers, reserving a few for decoration

Combine figs, port, water, mint, anchovies in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat until the figs are plump. Add capers and pulse in a processor until coarsely chopped. Heap onto polenta rounds and top with reserved capers.

Polenta Rounds and Fries

In a large sauce pan heat 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon salt. In a bowl combine cornmeal and 2 cups water. Add to salted water when it comes to a boil. Boil for about twenty mintues until it is thickened. Pour into a greased cookie sheet. Cool overnight in the refrigerator. Cut into rounds the following day. Or cut into sticks for fries.

For polenta fries, spray with cooking oil and bake at 375F until they become crisp. Turning over to crisp up on other side.

Fig and Olive Tapenade

Using the above mixture, I added 2 more cloves of garlic and about 8 large green olives.I processed it until it was ground finer.


kat said...

Anchovies are the only part that scare me. We love a good game night at home

Grace said...

what a random combination of ingredients! i like how you handled them, and i like that you like battleship. :)

Maria said...

Love what you came up with! I have to try the polenta fries!

Anonymous said...

Very creative, Lori!

The Blonde Duck said...

That's really cool. I've never thought of those combos!

Bunny said...

you made polenta fries! That's awesome Lori! It sounds like a very nice date night to me!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Love your polenta fries. I'll definitely make some soon. :)

Adrienne said...

Polenta fries are so good - I made some with the leftover polenta from my entry, too! And I love the idea of "minted fig canapes," something about "mint" as a verb. Very nice :)

Harini said...

Looks great. I had read that polenta fries are served up as fast food in some parts of Europe and was intrigued by that idea. I almost used capers as my substitute for anchovies, since I'm vegetarian, but went with kalamata olives instead. Good to know that someone else also thought that capers and figs would go well together.

Laura said...


They both look great.