Filled Polenta Cups

These are bite-sized containers, like large straight-sided thimbles, for holding fillings you have made especially for the dish, or just from emptying out the refrigerator. They are filled and then heated, or stuffed when hot with a cold (room temperature) filling that needs no further cooking. The contrast of the hot polenta cups with a slightly chilled roasted eggplant, mint, and lentil filling is very special.

You will need a baking pan 12 by 8 inches and 3 inches deep, and two small circular cookie cutters, ½ inch and 1 inch in diameter.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 recipe polenta

Method

Butter the baking pan with half the butter and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.

Cook the polenta and pour into the chilled pan. Rub the remaining butter over the top of the polenta to prevent a crust from forming. Chill until completely set.

Cut out cylinders of polenta with the larger cutter. With the cylinders still in the pan, cut each cylinder in its center with the smaller cutter, but only three-quarters of the way down. Lift out the cylinders and dig out the center plug with a small knife, leaving the bottom intact to hold the filling, cup-like.

Then fill them and heat in a 375-degree oven until hot, 5 to 10 minutes, or heat them for 5 minutes, fill with a room-temperature filling, then serve.

Fill with any of the following:

You can also sweeten the polenta cups by filling them with caramel or chocolate sauce.

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