Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Byproduct of 10th Grade Spanish Assignment

Last week, I bought this jar of roasted peppers at Citarella's under the mistaken impression that my daughter needed peppers for her tapas homework. I was afraid that if I put it in the cabinet I would forget about it, along with other random items I've bought by accident over the months (years)--Newman's Own salsa, carrot juice, canned cherries, concentrated beef broth. So I just let it sit on the counter until I remembered this savory red pepper loaf cake recipe:

Polenta Loaf with Roasted Red Peppers and Provolone
Makes 1 loaf, about 12 generous slices

Sliced and then cut into cubes, this made a great snack with my Channing Daughters Rosso Fresco.

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teapsoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablepsoons sugar
4 ounces Provolone cheese, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup roasted red pepper slices, patted dry and diced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a large measuring cup.
2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Cream together with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary, about 3 minutes. On low, mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture. When incorporated, mix in half of hte milk mixture. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk mixtures, ending with the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for 30 seconds. Stir in the cheese, peppers, and parsley.
3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until the loaf is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, invert onto a rack, re-invert, and let cool completely before slicing and serving.

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