Party Polenta Stars with Spicy Tomato Salsa

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  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon TABASCO® brand Original Red Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Spicy Tomato Salsa

  • 1 cup finely chopped ripe tomato
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon TABASCO® brand Original Red Sauce


Grease a large jelly-roll pan, and set aside. In a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, bring water, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low; slowly add cornmeal in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese and TABASCO® Sauce. Spread cooked cornmeal mixture in a jelly-roll pan to a 1/2-inch thickness. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cooled, at least 30 minutes.

With a 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut cooled polenta mixture into stars. Heat oil and remaining tablespoon butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add polenta stars and cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned, flipping carefully. Repeat with remaining stars, adding more oil and butter if necessary. Serve polenta stars with Spicy Tomato Salsa.

Spicy Tomato Salsa: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to blend flavors.

Makes 18 stars.

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