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Super Bowl party treats: polenta cheese bites

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The 2014 Super Bowl will be played on February 2nd at 6:30 p.m. It will be aired by FOX.

Prior to that, two sets of playoff games must take place to determine the opponents: division playoffs on January 12th; AFC/NFC championship games on January 19th. The Pro Bowl will be held on January 26th in order to give the teams headed to the Super Bowl an extra week to prepare.

Meanwhile, you have 21 days to plan the treats you want to have available while watching the Super Bowl, whether you are having just a family party or are involved in a larger party. A tasty addition to your menu would be polenta cheese bites.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup corn grits or cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup minced onion or shallot
  • 2 minced jalapeno peppers1 (optional)
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or fontina cheese

1Jalepeno peppers can sting & irritate the skin so wear gloves when handling peppers and do not touch your eyes.

Directions:

  1. Grease 8-inch square baking pans.
  2. Bring water to a boil in large nonstick saucepan over high heat. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cook and stir until grits are tender and water is absorbed. Stir in salt and chili powder.
  4. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add onion and jalapeno (if desired), cook and stir 3 – 5 minutes or until tender.
  6. Stir into grits, mix well.
  7. Spread in prepared pan. Let stand 1 hour or until cool and firm.
  8. Preheat broiler.
  9. Cut polenta into 16 squares. Arrange squares on nonstick baking sheet, sprinkle with cheese.
  10. Broil 4 inches from heat 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  11. Remove immediately. Cut squares in half. (Polenta will firm as it cools.)
  12. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Makes 32 appetizers)
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