>> Sunday, February 14, 2010
Happy Valentine's Day! Love it or hate it, it's here. I actually enjoy valentine's day - wait don't roll your eyes - I'm pretty sure I've never had a true *romantical* valentine before, haha. I'm the type who gets slightly overzealous for any occasion with baked goods and decor - though this year I exhibited some semblance of self-control. I started my "baller on a budget" v-day making Martha Stewart's antique-style valentines out of brown-paper grocery bags from the recycling pile. Then this evening I decided to make dinner for my roommate and another friend. Limits for dinner were anything already in house, and that my friend is a vegetarian. My mind immediately went to the tube of polenta hanging out in the refrigerator, and the ingredients for fresh salsa that I bought yesterday. The tying protein that first came to mind was egg, but then I remembered the tilapia hidden in the back of the freezer - and we had ourselves a meal!
I used Gor-ton's, directions per box. Don't knock it til you've tried it, but you could obviously step this up.
16 oz tube, cut into 8 even slices, about 1 cm thick
2 tsp ancho chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Sprinkle sliced polenta with ancho chili powder and set aside. Heat olive oil in nonstick pan over medium-high heat, and add minced garlic. Add polenta slices and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until golden-brown.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
adapted from epicurious
5 small tomatillos
3 roma tomatoes, diced
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 large onion, chopped into large chunks
2 tsp kosher salt
Preheat broiler. Remove tomatillo husks and rinse under warm water to remove stickiness. Broil tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapeno on rack of a broiler pan 1 to 2 inches from heat, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 10 minutes.
If using fresh tomatillos, remove husks and rinse under warm water to remove stickiness. If using canned tomatillos, drain and measure out 2 cups. Broil chiles, garlic, and fresh tomatillos (do not broil canned) on rack of a broiler pan 1 to 2 inches from heat, turning once, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 7 minutes.
Peel garlic and pull off tops of chiles. Puree all ingredients BUT roma tomatoes in a blender. Pour into bowl with diced tomatoes and refrigerate.
I layered the tilapia (or an egg for my veg friend) over two polenta cakes, then garnished with salsa, avocado, and sauteed mushrooms and onions (not shown). This paired with "When Harry Met Sally" = perfect valentine's day :)