Stuffed Peppers For Mara – Part 1 With Polenta Cheese And Corn

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” –Anaïs Nin

I am very lucky to have friends who have known me for so long in my life and have decided not to throw me overboard on a boat or out the window of a moving car. One of those friends and indeed one of my longest lasting friendships is with my dear friend Mara. It is Mara’s birthday and it made me think how very lucky I am to have her as a friend, as a coconspirator in this life, a journeyer with me, a questioner with me, and an all out wonderful kick-ass woman!

I will save how I met Mara for a post tomorrow for Mara indeed is deserving of many posts as she has held many places in my life. We have traveled to Hawaii, Big Sur, Disney Land, and this last summer to Spain together. She shared one of my favorite New York days on a visit here that we dubbed Eat, Play, Love. She was there when I learned to swim, and when a giant obese person dove into the pool and landed smack on top of me; I saw my watery life go past my eyes. She sat beside me as I went on my first roller coaster and found a love for fast and exhilarating things. She was whom I called when I got my period for the first time and was at home alone with my math tutor Jim. She was the first person to be with me when I drove on 4-lane freeway; she stayed calm as I drove her car and she insisted that I had to go faster than 50 miles per hour no matter how scared I was. I guess you could say she is the kind of friend we would all be lucky to have in life.

Awhile back she asked if I had any recipes for stuffed peppers and indeed I did and I told her I would send them to her. It has been a while since that conversation and I am ashamed to admit I still haven’t sent the recipes, but then the other week I was thinking about what to make for dinner and I recalled this and thought I will make both recipes and put them here as a little gift. So for 2 days, I will post 2 recipes that I love for a friend I love as dearly as one can love a friend.

Happy Birthday Mara, I hope it is a great year ahead of you for you deserve only the greatest and so much more.



Stuffed Peppers with Polenta, Cheese, and Corn:

This recipe is from Moosewood Simple Suppers.


5 large bell peppers (green, red, yellow, orange, or a combination)

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

4 Cups water

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup polenta cornmeal

1 ½ cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter

1 ½ cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

½ cups chopped Spanish olives

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the peppers in half-length wise and remove seeds. Brush the pepper halves with oil, inside and out. Place cut-side up on an oiled baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender but still holding their shape, about 15 minutes.

While the peppers roast, in a heavy saucepan, bring the water, salt, and red pepper flakes to a boil. Add the polenta in a slow, steady stream while whisking. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until thickened about 5 minutes but being careful as polenta has a tendency to spit and splatter some. Stir in the corn, oil or butter, 1 cup cheese, and the olives. Remove from the heat.

Fill the roasted pepper halves with the polenta mixture. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese and return to the oven for 5-10 min until the cheese is melted.

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01 2013

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