What to cook every day can be a struggle. You just run out of ideas as food becomes a daily grind. During Vancouver Fashion Week, I had so little time I picked up a variety of pre-made meals from Momma Costco as we call her here - Shepherd's Pie, Stuffed Peppers, Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff, etc. When it was all over I was totally exhausted and struggled to put anything on the table. It was time to get my hands dirty in the kitchen again.
Polenta is one of those wonderful foods I never heard about growing up. It wasn't until a few years ago that it started to appear as an appie at high-end events. I loved it from day one. While I have only attempted one recipe before, it's a goodie - Polenta Torte with Ham, Spinach and Cheese. The article I wrote also has links to tons of others to try.
I grabbed a pile of random vegetables, set out my cornmeal and started to work. This recipe did take time to prepare, but you can do it in two stages. The vegetable/tuna pot pie mix can be made earlier, placed in oven proof bowls and set aside. Then about 30 minutes before supper, prepare the polenta, spread it on top of the pot pies and pop them into a pre-heated oven.
Best of all - my husband who doesn't get excited about food said it was a keeper. Not gourmet, but a warm hearty meal for a cold night.
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Chive Polenta Topped Tuna Pot Pie
4 hearty servings
For the pot pie -
1 Med. Sweet Onion such as Walla Walla, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Large Garlic Clove, Minced
1 Stalk Celery, Sliced
1 C Mushrooms, sliced or diced
1-1/2 C Carrots, sliced
1 Red or Yellow Pepper, cut into bite-size cubes
2 Stalks Curly Kale, spine removed and chopped
2 C Zucchini (I used a mix of Green and Yellow), quarter lengthwise, the sliced into 1/2" bites
1 C Butternut Squash, cubed
1 340 G can Chunk Tuna in water, drained
1 C Double Strength Vegetable Broth *
Optional - 1 T Cornstarch to thicken broth.
* - (Note - If you can buy condensed vegetable broth that would work. OR you can use those broth cubes and make it double strength. This time I used one 132 G container of Knorr Homestyle Stock and dissolved it in 1 cup of water (this was more than double strength)
4 C Vegetable Broth (about a 1 litre container of pre-made)
1 C Yellow Cornmeal
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 C Chopped or Snipped Fresh Chives
2 T Butter
1/2 C Grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago Cheese
For the pot pie -
In large frying pan, add onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms, carrots and about 2 T of olive oil. Saute on medium until onion is soft and carrots are just starting to get tender. Add pepper. kale, zucchini and butternut squash. Cook until the new vegetables are crisp tender. Add your broth (with cornstarch mixed in if using) and tuna. Heat through and then divide into 4 large oven-proof individual bowls. Mine are oval shaped pasta bowls.
To finish -
Continue to stir slowly while the polenta cooks for 10 minutes. Spread 1/4 of the polenta on top of each of the four pot pies - about 1 cup per pie. Sprinkle the top of each pie with 2 T of cheese. Place in pre-heated oven and cook for 15 minutes. Serve.
It's important to note that guests know these bowls are extremely hot. BUT the beauty is the food stays hot from first bite to last. Enjoy!