The first recipe is based on the wonderful tamales at the Laguna Beach Farmers Market, the ones in the corner by Sam's fabulous fresh fish and the Indian specialty foods.



Serves 6 for dinner


2 tablespoons olive oil

½ onion chopped

2 large chile cheese tamales, chopped in ½-inch pieces

¼ cup canned mild green chilies

½ cup feta cheese crumbled by you (not the pre-crumbled yucky stuff)

¼ cup grated cheddar

1 dozen eggs


1 glass jar of Trader Joe's Salsa Verde

½ bunch cilantro

1 jalapeno or Serrano chile or to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°

2. Saute onions in oil in a 12" ovenproof skillet for 3 to 5 minutes. Add chilies and tamales and cook on medium-low heat until tamales have softened.

3. Beat eggs, add cheeses and stir, then pour over onion/tamale mixture.

4. Bake in oven until just set, 15 to 20 minutes. Check frequently.

5. Serve with warm sauce on the side.

Green Sauce:

1. Combine all ingredients for sauce in blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Heat in saucepan until just warm. Overheating will change the color but not the flavor.



Serves 4


1 cup quick cooking polenta (available at the Culinary Institute in Laguna Canyon); regular polenta is fine. It just takes longer.

2 cups of water. (4 for regular polenta)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated


2 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounce package Trader Joe's crimini mushrooms, cut in quarters

1 chopped bell pepper

1 to 2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped

10 black olives, cut in half

½ can small white beans


1 to 1 ½ cups tomato sauce of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 400°

2. Bring water to the boil and add salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic. Stir in polenta and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Pour into loaf pan and cool.

4. Spread 2 tablespoons of oil on baking sheet. Dump out polenta brick and slice into 8 pieces. Lay pieces on oiled baking sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until a little crispy. While polenta is baking, prepare vegetables.

5. Sauté mushrooms and peppers in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 3 minutes. Add garlic, continue to sauté for 30 seconds. Add olives and beans. Add tomato sauce and heat until just warm. When polenta is ready, reheat vegetable sauce. Pour over polenta slices and serve. Garnish with basil or parsley if desired.

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