Saturday, November 18, 2006

Diva goes bananas

Hello, my name is Shannon and I am a polenta addict. I admit it. Full disclosure. But really, how could you not love polenta with all its versatility? Light, rich peaks of creamy goodness. Solid, dense cubes fried up along side a savory dipping sauce. Day, evening, late night snack.

Somewhere along the way polenta has become one of my comfort foods. I never ate it as a child, but something in the simple, heartiness of the dish calls to me. It makes me feel warmed from the inside-out. At times I forget about it. Polenta can be so unassuming, sitting along side beautiful veggies and seafood. It can be overlooked. I will go months without incorporating it into my menu. Then I rediscover it, and I start all over again. Polenta with pumpkin. Polenta with Parmesan. Polenta fries (leftovers from last night will make these treats). Polenta for breakfast? Hmm...well, if they eat grits for breakfast, why not polenta?

So often my recipes are inspired by the ingredients I have available hidden in my cupboards and fridge. Last night I noticed that my two remaining bananas are getting speckled and brown. They are perfectly ready for cooking or baking. While the Banana Corn Cake recipe over on Karina's blog is calling to me, polenta has sunk it's claws into my taste buds. Could I possibly combine the bananas with the polenta? Yes siree Bob!

Banana Maple Mush

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup quick-cook polenta
2 bananas, one mashed, one diced
maple syrup

In a medium pot, heat milk to nearly a boil. Slowly pour in polenta, whisking constantly. Add mashed banana and continue to whisk. When the polenta begins to thicken remove from heat. Mix in diced banana. Serve warm with as much or as little maple syrup as you like poured over the top.

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