POLENTA MOZZARELLA STACK

Goodness gracious, this is gooood!  Granted, I had to add a bit of meat in honor of my guys–proscuitto–but it would be just as good (maybe better) minus the meat. Truly, I could eat this once a week. Though my guys would probably balk at enjoying it that often, they agree that it’s a “keeper.”

1 tbsp olive oil

18 oz pre-made polenta (I bought the tubular kind), sliced into 12 rounds

sea salt

ground black pepper

1-1/2 cups marinara sauce (store bought)

12 oz fresh mozzarella (again, the tubular kind), sliced into 8 rounds

1 large tomato, sliced into 4 rounds

8 slices prosciutto

4 cups baby spinach

1 tbsp parsley

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat; add polenta slices and cook 3-4 minutes each side until a light crust forms; lightly sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, remove from heat, and set aside

3) Pour marinara sauce in 8 x 8 baking dish; place 4 polenta slices in center of baking dish (close together so that when they are fully stacked they will remain upright throughout the baking process)

4)  Stack each of the 4 servings on top of the first polenta slice as follows: 1st round of mozzarella cheese, tomato, 2nd polenta slice, prosciutto, 2nd round of mozzarella cheese, 3rd polenta slice; bake in oven 15-20 minutes until mozzarella melts

5) Meanwhile, place 1 cup baby spinach in center of each of four plates

6) Remove polenta stacks from oven and carefully transfer one stack to the center of each mound of spinach; spoon marinara sauce over each stack; sprinkle with parsley; serve and enjoy!

Makes: 4 servings

Advertisements

APPLE CHICKEN SAUSAGE-MOZZARELLA-POTATO FRITTATA

Frittatas have become one of my go-to meals. Not only are they relatively quick and easy to make, but the variations are endless. Though I used Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage in this frittata, you can easily substitute bacon, ham, prosciutto, or forego meat altogether. Don’t have fresh mozzarella? Substitute cheddar or swiss or…how about brie? Regardless, count on a delicious and filling meal.

Apple Chicken Sausage-Mozzarella-Potato Frittata

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

12 oz sweet apple chicken sausage (I used Al Fresco brand), diced

4 cups frozen Southern-style diced potatoes, thawed

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

3 scallions, sliced thin on the diagonal

1 cup diced fresh mozzarella

6 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1) Preheat oven to 4oo degrees

2) To large skillet (I used cast iron) add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp) and heat over medium-high heat; add sausage and cook, stirring often, 5-6 minutes until browned; transfer sausage to a bowl and set aside

3) Add reserved 2 tbsp olive oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat; add diced potatoes, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring often, 7-8 minutes until browned; remove from heat

4) Scatter sausage, scallions, and mozzarella over potatoes and set aside

5) In medium-sized bowl, lightly beat eggs with milk; pour over potato-sausage mixture; cover frittata with aluminum foil and bake in oven 20 minutes; remove foil and bake additional 12-15 minutes until eggs are set and frittata is golden brown; serve immediately; going, going, gone!

Servings: 4-6

BALSAMIC MOZZARELLA-TOMATO-AVOCADO APPETIZER

With holiday gatherings on the horizon, it’s time to pull out fingerfood fare. Not only is this offering pretty and easy to make, but you really can’t go wrong with mozzarella, tomatoes, and avocados. Delicious and–hey!–aren’t those Christmas colors?

16 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin into 1-1/2″ x 2″ pieces

5 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin

2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced thin

sea salt

ground black pepper

2 tbsp minced parsley

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Optional: crackers or mini-slices of bread

1) In shallow casserole dish (I used a 10″ x10″ dish), layer cheese, tomato, and avocado slices as pictured

2) Sprinkle slices with sea salt and black pepper to taste, followed by parsley

3) Prior to serving, drizzle balsamic vinegar over mozzarella-tomato-avocado slices (or serve vinegar on the side); serve with crackers and/or bread

Serves: 12 or more

MOZZARELLA AND BLACK BEAN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE

Though I normally use Cheddar cheese on enchilada casseroles, I was in the mood for something “gooier,” so I opted for good old mozzarella, the staple of pizzas. All my guys agree this was one good casserole!

1 lb ground turkey

1 cup onion, chopped

12 corn tortillas, cut into 1″ pieces

1-10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1-1/2 cups enchilada sauce

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

1-4 oz can diced green chiles

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2) In large, oven-safe skillet (cast iron works well) over medium-high heat, cook turkey and onion until turkey is cooked through; drain fat and lower heat to medium

3) To meat mixture, add tortilla pieces, mushroom soup, black beans, enchilada sauce, black olives, sour cream, green chiles, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese (reserving 1 cup for topping); mix well until combined and cook 5 minutes; remove from stove top

4) Place oven-safe skillet in oven and bake 18-20 minutes until mixture begins to bubble; scatter remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese over casserole and bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese melts; serve it up and watch it go!

Serves: 6

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/30/12