Roasted Polenta and Seafood Lasagne February 24 2014
Last night's post on Facebook was pretty popular, so I guess I better make with the recipe like I said I would.
For those of you that prefer some adventure in their cooking, I will give you some basic background: In essence, you use polenta that has been chilled on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet where you would use pasta in a regular lasagna. This is a nice change of pace from the usual flavor and texture of the dish. In the case of our photo, the contrast was even more drastic since we used a bechamel seafood sauce instead of the usual bolognase. However, we did put a small amount of tomato sauce in a red pepper-tomato sauce we used.
I am going to post a basic set of polenta cooking guidelines on a separate post, so you can reference that there.
When you make your polenta, make it a little loose to get a nice thin sheet for your "pasta" layers. some planning is good here. I did this by setting the pyrex casserole dish over my cookie sheet to get an idea of how many continuous pieces I could get out of my chilled polenta, I got two almost perfectly sized pieces. There is a lot of room to refine this process, of course! Anyway, there is much space for improvement, but only so much time to give you a recipe. So here goes.
- Pour the "loose" polenta onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill until congealed (several hours).
- Cut the polenta into sheets to fit your casserole dish. You need at least two pieces. Use a sharp knife to cut through the paper, also. Lift the sheets with the paper to avoid breakage. Be careful.
- 1 roasted red pepper.
- 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp hot pepper vinegar (we make our own).
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 chopped scallion
- 1 chopped clove of garlic
- Fry up 6 pieces of bacon and set onto paper towels. Let cool. Crumble.
- In a bowl, mix together 8 oz. of whole milk Ricotta cheese, 4 oz. frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and drained), 1 egg, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- You will also need about. 2 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves, uncooked.
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 diced onion
- 1 shredded carrot
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1.cup milk
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup vermouth
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- salt (to taste)
- 1 pound shelled shrimp
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the pepper, onion, and carrot. Stir while cooking over medium heat until the onions are translucent. You know the deal, right?
- Stir in the flour and keep stirring until the vegetables are thoroughly coated and the flour is browned, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in vermouth and keep stirring until reduced.
- Combine the stock and milk, then slowly stir the mixture with the vegetables and vermouth. Add a bit at a time, letting the roux absorb the liquid before adding more. Cook, stirring continuously, until thick and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Add salt. Add shrimp. Cut off heat.
Put it Together.
- Butter a Pyrex casserole dish. Gently place the first polenta layer in the bottom.
- Spread the bacon evenly on top of the polenta.
- Spread the red pepper sauce evenly over the bacon, using a spoon or rubber spatula.
- Place fresh baby spinach leaves (uncooked) evenly over the red pepper sauce, completely covering it.
- Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the fresh spinach layer.
- Pour half of the bechamel over the ricotta mixture.
- Place the second layer of polenta over the bechamel.
- Pour the rest of the bechamel over the polenta.
- Shred cheddar cheese on top
- Place on middle shelf of the oven preheated to 450.
- Cook until hot and bubbling (at least a half an hour).
- Let cool for 10 minutes or more.
- Top with scallions and sprouts and serve.