02 July 2009

Mama Hitchman's Pasta Salad

1/2 c. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. red wine vinegar (white wine vinegar or white balsamic are acceptable substitutes)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well to combine.

In a large bowl, mix any or all of the following:
8 oz. pasta, cooked according to package directions (rainbow rotini or bow ties are good)
chopped red or green pepper
chopped salami
fresh mozzarella balls
olives... I like kalamata
sun dried tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
fresh basil

This tastes better after the flavors have melded for a while........

01 July 2009

Polenta Pie

Here is another hit from Cheryl Hufnagel... it is so versatile and so economical!!

1 c. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 c. cold water
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. chopped red onion
3 tomatillos, chopped
1/2 c. frozen corn kernals
12-15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 chipotle pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 c. salsa verde
chopped cilantro
chopped green onions

1. Mix cornmeal, sage, salt and pepper and cold water in a 2 qt. saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly (over medium heat) until very thick. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish. You can let it hang out at this point for a while, to get a little dried out. I like the crust a little chewy and this is the way to do it. When you're ready, bake at 425 until firm - 20-25 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix cheese, red onion, tomatillos, corn, tomatoes, chipotle and salsa. Spread on crust and return to 425 oven for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

3. Let cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions.

* Italian: substitute oregano for sage in crust. Use marinara sauce instead of salsa, mozzarella instead of cheddar, and mix in some pizza toppings like black olives, green pepper, sausage, etc.
* Greek: same as above but use feta cheese and cherry tomatoes... and extra garlic!