Two Sisters, One Kitchen

Quick, healthy meals by a loving team. See what’s cooking in J & K's kitchen!

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil February 8, 2015

Jamie says: In less than one week, I’ll be moving to my new place! I’m having that “this is my last time” doing (insert local activity here) feeling. Like tonight, it was “this is (probably) my last time eating dinner on the patio.” And yesterday, it was “this is my last time going to this church.” (You get the picture). It’s bittersweet, but I’m certainly super excited about my move. I’ve also been squeezing in a lot of activities, and let’s be real, restaurants, that I’ve wanted to try. My sister told me by the time I leave, I will have I milked this city dry. She made me smile. I like to think I’ve had the full experience. The cool thing is is that I’m not moving too far and can come back. And as my friend at the gym said, I’m about to expand my circle even more. Let the count down begin.

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

Crispy polenta, creamy ricotta, rich salmon, golden zucchini, juicy tomatoes, and savory basil… yum!

Crispy polenta, creamy ricotta... and I'm just getting started...

Crispy polenta, creamy ricotta… and I’m just getting started…

Italian flag colors with Italian flavor.

Bam! Brilliant colors and brilliant flavors!

Bam! Brilliant colors and brilliant flavors!

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

Ingredients:

  • one 17-oz roll polenta, original (Marjon)
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 zucchini, organic (Pero Family Farms, fresh wrapped)
  • 6 oz salmon filet, boneless and skinless, defrosted (Publix fresh frozen sockeye salmon, wild caught, USA)
  • 1 tomato, organic (Tasti-Lee)
  • 12 leaves fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, low-fat

Directions:

  1. Slice polenta roll into about 12 even slices. Pour 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan. Place polenta on top. Using a spatula, flip polenta to coat other side in olive oil. Turn heat on to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown, reducing heat to medium-low if needed.
  2. Place zucchini in food processor to julienne cut. Pour 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil in a small sauté pan, and add julienne-cut zucchini. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Place salmon in a sauté pan on medium-low heat and cook for about 7 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 7 minutes or until done. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Chop tomato. Tear basil.
  5. Arrange cooked polenta cakes in a circle in the center of two plates (6 per plate). Place cooked zucchini in the middle of the cakes, and top zucchini with ricotta cheese. Arrange salmon around ricotta on top of the polenta cakes. Place chopped tomatoes in between polenta slices on the outer ring. Top with fresh basil. Enjoy!

Servings: 2

  • Nutrition note: Gluten free (always check the packages to confirm, though) for those with Celiac disease or a gluten-intolerance. No additional salt is needed as the polenta is already salted.
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Cinnamon Raisin Polenta with Sour Cream and Apple Sauce September 27, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Polenta

Cinnamon Raisin Polenta with Sour Cream and Apple Sauce

Jamie says:  Somehow, I must have had selective reading when I was looking over the polenta label.  I made sure it was gluten-free and thought I made sure to get the plain variety, but somehow, I must have glossed over the words “cinnamon” and “raisin.”  So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I saw black chunks (aka raisins) in my “plain” polenta- the plain polenta that I was going to top with tomatoes and shrimp.  But, it turned out to be a good mistake.  The cinnamon raisin polenta was something we never tried (and probably never would’ve).  Mom was hesitant at first but then made embraced the idea and even suggested the apple sauce…

Cinnamon Raisin Polenta with Sour Cream and Apple Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 17 oz roll cinnamon and raisin polenta (Marjon)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil (Publix)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (McCormick)
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar (Publix)
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream (Breakstone’s)
  • 1 cup natural applesauce (Mott’s)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat a large frying pan on the stove on medium-high heat.  Slice polenta into 1/2 inch thick circles.  Pour oil in the pan.  Carefully place slices in the pan.  Heat for about 6 minutes or until lightly browned.  Flip.  Cook for an additional 6 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.
  3. Top with sour cream and dip in apple sauce.  Enjoy!

Serves:  4

Tastes like a combination between sweet cinnamon raisin bread, latkes, and cinnamon rolls.  It was so good, we were looking for more.

  • Nutrition note:  Consider making a healthy substitute in your cooking by replacing butter with healthy oils, like canola oil.  Over time, a lot of saturated fat in foods like butter can make your arteries less elastic and make blood flow more difficult.
 

Polenta Cakes with Balsamic Shrimp and Mushrooms over Baked Kale September 6, 2011

Polenta Cakes with Balsamic Shrimp and Mushrooms over Baked Kale

Jamie says:  Buongiorno!  K and I are off to Italy today!  We will be going to Florence, Venice, and Rome.  In honor of our trip, I hope you enjoy this polenta recipe.  If we can get to a computer, we might post some of our good eatings in our Two Sisters Dine Out blog.

Polenta Cakes with Balsamic Shrimp and Mushrooms over Baked Kale

Ingredients:

Baked Kale

  • 27 oz bag kale (Glory Foods)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (Filippo Berio)
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt (Alessi)
  • 1/8 freshly ground pepper

Balsamic Shrimp and Mushrooms

  • 12 oz container white, prewashed sliced mushrooms (Publix)
  • 3/4 lb peeled, deveined, shrimp (Publix Seafood)
  • 1/4 cup  classic balsamic extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette (Bolthouse Farms)

Polenta Cakes

  • 17 oz roll of original polenta (Marjon)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (Filippo Berio)
  • 1/3 cup shredded, reduced fat 2% milk, low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (Publix)
Directions:
  1. Baked Kale: Preheat oven to 375°F.  Divide kale among two large metal baking dishes.  Drizzle olive oil on top.  Add sea salt and pepper.  Toss to mix.  Bake for about 32 minutes or until brown and crispy.
  2. Balsamic Shrimp and Mushrooms: Meanwhile, rinse mushrooms and shrimp in a colander under running water.  Place in a pot with a lid and pour balsamic vinaigrette on top.  Place lid on top of pot and shake to mix.  Marinate in refrigerator.  When kale has cooked 22 minutes, place pot of shrimp on a burner set on medium heat.  Cook for 10 minutes or until shrimp are pink and mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Leave lid on pot to keep warm.
  3. Polenta Cakes: Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan on a burner set to medium-high heat.  Slice polenta into 1/2 inch circles.  Pour 1/2 of olive oil into pan (reserving 1/2 for the next batch of polenta cakes).  Carefully place 1/2 of polenta circles on pan.  Cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until polenta absorbs oil and cakes are lightly browned, if desired.  Flip polenta cakes, cooking for and additional 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, place on a plate, and immediately top with 1/2 of mozzarella cheese.  Repeat process, adding reserved olive oil to pan.  Place the second batch of finished polenta cakes on top of the first polenta cakes and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  4. Assemble meal: Divide kale among plates.  Top with polenta cakes.  Then add shrimp and mushrooms and a little of the cooked vinaigrette on top.
Serves: 3.  Enjoy!
The polenta cakes reminded me of arepas (which are amazing); the baked kale has earned its place as a favorite; and the shrimp and mushrooms had a nice balsamic/red pepper flavor from the vinaigrette.  And in the end, they all came together nicely to make a tasty dinner.
  • Nutrition note:  The Polenta Cakes with Balsamic Shrimp and Mushrooms over Baked Kale is a gluten-free meal.  Always check the label though, just in case a product’s ingredients change.
 

Crispy Polenta with Fresh Mozzarella July 25, 2011

Crispy Polenta with Fresh Mozzarella

Jamie says:  The count-down continues!  Less than 2 weeks until graduation.  Classes and internship have been over for over a week now.  What has life been like lately?  Busy, actually.  I traveled to the Florida Dietetic Association Symposium in Weston last week for an awesome nutrition conference, and  I’ve been preparing for a conference we are hosting for my program, completing my professional portfolio, submitting assignments, applying for jobs, and packing up my apartment to move out. It’s been busy, but great!

Crispy Polenta with Fresh Mozzarella

Ingredients:

  • one 18 oz package pre-cooked, ready to heat polenta (San Gennaro, Traditional Italian)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (Filippo Berio)
  • one-third 8 oz package fresh mozzarealla cheese (Publix Deli)
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil leaves (McCormick)
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt (Alessi)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat a large, nonstick pan on high heat.  Meanwhile, slice polenta into1/2 inch circles.  Add extra virgin olive oil to pan followed by polenta slices.  Heat for about 10  minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.  Meanwhile, slice mozzarella cheese into 1/8 inch pieces.
  2. Flip polenta and heat other side for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy; during the last 3 minutes of cooking the second side, add mozzarella cheese slices.  Sprinkle basil and sea salt on top.  Serve hot.  Serves: 2.  Enjoy!

The polenta is hot and crispy and pairs nicely with the soft, melted cheese.  The basil adds a nice touch and the sea salt amplifies all the flavors.  Reminds me of arepas.

  • Nutrition note:  Have you seen the words “gluten-free” on more food packages lately?  Some Publix Supermarkets now even label the shelf tag with GF (gluten-free). It’s definitely one of the latest trends.  Those with celiac disease have to follow a strict gluten-free diet and those with a gluten intolerance have to watch their gluten intake, too.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barely.  The Crispy Polenta with Fresh Mozzarella makes a great gluten-free side dish.