I’m so excited about watching and celebrating the Super bowl this year; partly because of the Croatian connection. This whole week I’ve been preparing unique treats to eat and drink. I am cheering for the New England Patriots, therefore I want the color scheme of Red, White and Blue.
It just so happens that both the New England Coach Bill Belichick and the Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll share ancestral roots in the European country of Croatia. Having ancestral roots in Croatia myself, I thought it would be a great opportunity to put my own Croatian spin on a few classic American super bowl foods.
Instead of the traditional jalapeño poppers I added my own twist and added polenta, a staple all across Croatia. I love chili so I decided to make a traditional comfort food from the region of Lika Croatia, called “grah i jecam”. A dish my husband has for years referred to as Croatian chili. A bowl full of vegetables, barley, pinto beans, and corn. My advice is to dip the polenta poppers in the Croatian chili and experience a delicious comfort.
Polenta Jalapeño Poppers
3 Cups water
1 cup Polenta
2 jalapeño diced
2 tablespoon’s cooked quinoa (totally optional)
2 tablespoons light sour cream
Extra virgin olive oil
Grated parmesan cheese
In a saucepan add water, and bring to a boil, season with salt. Then add the polenta, and whisk constantly, add the diced jalapenos. Once the polenta and jalapeno is combined stir frequently. Cook for 30 minutes on low temperature. Then remove from heat and add sour cream, and stir in the cooked quinoa.
Line a 9 by 9 inch square pan with plastic wrap. Pour the polenta into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Remove the polenta from the pan and cut into desired shapes. I used 3 by 3 inch squares. Coat a nonstick sauté pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add the polenta shapes. Cook the polenta on both sides (but not too long as it will start to fall apart). When finished sprinkle with a little grated parmesan cheese and enjoy while hot.
Keeping with the red, white and blue theme, I wanted to create a cocktail to accompany the delicious food. Here is the recipe to my delicious blueberry mint cocktail
I hope you enjoy this weekend’s football game as much as we will.
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cups blueberries
3 pieces of lime peel
1 branch of mint
1 ounce vodka
¼ cup ginger ale
¼ cup simple syrup
Bring the first 5 ingredients to a boil. Then lower temperature and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Let cool, and strain and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then pour vodka, ginger ale, and simple syrup in a glass and enjoy.