Polenta Cakes, Leftover Remix

I told you just how much polenta I had leftover when I made Chorizo and Polenta. If you missed it, there was a LOT of polenta. I decided to flavor up the leftovers and make them into cakes.

I feel so accomplished using leftovers. This post is a bit delayed, but better late than never, right?
chorizo_polenta_polenta_590_390

Ingredients:

2 cups prepared polenta
¼ cup white wine
3 tbs butter
2 tbs grated Parmesan
2 tsp chopped basil
2 tsp chopped garlic
salt & pepper
⅔ cup Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Directions:

I warmed it slightly (since it had become one with the shape of the container since I made it a few days prior).
Mix in wine, butter, Parmesan, basil and garlic.
polenta_cake_bowl_590_390
Heat a heavy skillet with ¼ inch of vegetable oil, over medium low heat
Mix breadcrumbs, Panko, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl/plate.
Raise oil temperature to medium.
Form polenta into patties and cover with breadcrumbs.
polenta_cake_breading_590_390
Drop a pinch of polenta mix into the oil to be sure it bubbled immediately.
Pan fry each cake until golden brown.
polenta_cake_frying_590_390
Cover or keep warm in the oven until serving.
polenta_cake_plate_590_390
Let’s recap. I made 2 cups of polenta which ended up being 6 servings when I made Chorizo & Polenta. Now I made about 4 more servings of polenta into cakes. That is exactly how much polenta you get using 2 cups of dried polenta.

March Recap

How is it April already? March is over? I’m not ready for April. Then it will be May and I’m certainly not ready for May. March is a month that is scary that it is over, but man, I don’t want to do it again. I had a doozy at work. The worst thing that could have happened, happened. As we say while working in events “it wasn’t my fault, but it is still my problem.” Ugg. I’m tired just thinking back. I think we’re on the up-and-up. I think I fixed it. This just wasn’t supposed to be the site and vendor I had to worry about. Guess ya never know.

March was a good month. My birthday was delicious and left me feeling really special. It was definitely a happy one. This cake could make anything happy, but you know what I mean
bday_cake_590_390
I blogged about a lot of smoothies this month. Peanut Butter & jelly smoothie was a hit on pinterest. I made an amazing Mocha Nut Smoothie with nutella and coffee #ohhmygoodness. Here are some Smoothie Tips and a Citrus Smoothie. The best smoothie I made was a Creamsicle Smoothie

creamcicle_smoothie_ingred.590_390
I reviewed a cookbook, which I haven’t done in awhile. Breakfast for Dinner is a keeper, and according to my analytics, this was a fan favorite too!
bfast_dinner_cover_590_390
I felt like I was due for some pizza. I made a Greek Veggie Pizza that was outstanding. It was such a great meatless fresh pizza. It reminded me that spring was coming and the freshness is worth the craziness at work.
greek_pizza_slice_590_390
This 1-dish-wonder Smokey Pasta with Kielbasa was one I was really happy with. I don’t make many pastas but this was spot-on. It didn’t quite get the attention I think it deserved. It also re-heated well for which I was very grateful.
smokey_pasta_cooked_590_390
This work challenge definitely means that I’ve had muuuuch more work. Expect to see some fast & easy ones and whatever crosses my mind. I’m proud that I’m keeping up because I need the constants in my life that keep me sane. It’s all happening!

April will be a whirlwind. I don’t want to blink and miss the spring. I have to hurry up and get some wintry foods done that have been kickin’ around before it is too late!

Have any springy inspired ideas for me??

Thin Mint Ice Cream

Just before St. Patrick’s Day I set out to make ice cream and couldn’t find any mint extract. Is that because of the green-ness for the holiday? The store had lots of other extracts: rum; banana; orange; hazelnut, lemon, almond,  raspberry; and vanilla. I found green food coloring and then scrounged around to find mint flavors I could add into my would-be mint chip ice cream. I was psyched to put my new ice cream containers to use!
mint_icecream_container_590_390

I found the generic Thin Mint cookies and figured why not?! I got fresh mint. Then I peeked around the dairy section finding York Peppermint Creamer. Sure, join this mintfest.

Ingredients:
1 cups milk (I used 1%)
½ cup half-and-half
½ cup peppermint coffee creamer
20 fresh mint leaves
3/4 cups sugar
dash of salt
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 drops green food coloring
10 thin mint cookies, crushed
2 tbs mini mint chips (or chunks)

Directions:
Cook milk, half and half, creamer and mint leaves in a medium pan, over medium-high heat. Heat about 5-8 minutes until the milk mixture gently bubbles, but doesn’t boil.
mint_icecream_steep_590_390
Remove from heat and let the mint steep for about 10 minutes.
While mint is steeping, in a small bowl, mix sugar, salt and egg yolks. Whisk to mix throughly.
Pour milk mixture through colander to separate the mint leaves. Press all the milk out of them and disgard.
mint_icecream_strain_590_390
Return mint mix to pan over medium heat.
Slowly add the egg/sugar mixture, stirring for five minutes.
Remove from heat, add vanilla and a few drops of green coloring.
mint_icecream_green_590_390
Refrigerate for a few hours, stirring occasionally, until completely chilled.
Add the rest of the green drops until it becomes your color of choice.
Mix according to manufacturer’s instructions (I mixed 35 minutes).
mint_icecream_churn_590_390
Mix cookies and chips in by hand.
mint_icecream_cookies_590_390
Freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.
mint_icecream_container_590_390
Makes just over 1 quart.

Ohh my minty ice cream. I worried about the mintiness since I couldn’t find mint extract. Apparently, when you add every other mint thing you can find, it tastes minty enough. It wasn’t perfectly creamy. There was a tiny edge of an icy texture. I really think the non-dairy creamer is at fault for that. Whole fat milk is best and that non-dairy stuff is a little bit creepy now that I think about it….

When I smelled the mint, I immediately wanted a mojito. Is that bad? I smell mint and bypass toothpaste wanting a mixed drink?

Mint oreos would have been good, but they seem to sell out for St. Patrick’s Day too. I brought this to our green/St. Patrick’s Day potluck. I didn’t photograph it, let’s just say it wasn’t our finest potluck. Maybe next time.