Friday, June 23, 2006

It's polenta Jim

but not as you know it...(with apologies to Star Trek)


polenta chips© by haalo


These golden fingers are not potato but polenta!



Growing up we ate polenta often and I don't know if it was the polenta itself or the 40 minutes of stirring the molten brew, but for a while I really couldn't stand to have it. Needless to say, when I was a little older and people would rave about this "new" Italian food they've just had, I was a little confused. Could they really be talking about polenta? Maybe I was just being a bit too harsh on it, maybe I should give it another go. The rest, as they say, is history.

So, how do you make Polenta Chips?

As for the grilled polenta, you need to let the polenta harden after you've spread it out in a paper lined tray - give it half an hour to be sure.

Remove it from the tray and then cut into thickish slices - I then cut these long slices in half. Naturally enough what you'll need to do will depend on the tray you've used.

Dust the polenta fingers in a little plain flour - this stops the polenta from spitting in the oil (it is moist) and helps to get that lovely crust. Make sure you've removed all the excess flour as this will cloud the oil.

Heat a pan with oil (it should be around about 180°C) - you need to deep-fry these until the polenta heats up and the outside crisps and browns. It should only take a few minutes. Drain them well once they are done - you can place them on trays and keep them warm in the oven if you are making a lot of these. Don't overcrowd the pan or the oil temperature will drop and you'll get a soggy result.


polenta chips© by haalo


To serve: These make great little finger foods - perfect with a glass of bubbly (or a beer), or as a side dish to a main meal.


10 comments:

  1. I love all things polenta. Of course I've always made the quick cooking kind and haven't ever stirred it for 40 minutes. These fried polenta sticks look great!

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  2. another great polenta recipe. you've pretty much convinced me to try it again.

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  3. oo, those are adorable! How cute would they be with little dots of tapenade or a rich avocado sauce - like little ants on a log. I'm going to have to try making polenta this way!

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  4. Thanks From our Kitchen! Quick cooking polenta is what I use now.

    Hi Anna - thanks! Hopefully these will turn you into a polenta liker.

    Thanks Gaile - great ideas!

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  5. My favourite polenta is Belmonte Traditional, which means 30 minutes cooking, but I've found a way to cook it without stirring all the time. Which polenta do you use?

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  6. I'd go for the Moretti brand - their white polenta is lovely and I use it if I want to do something a little more special or else I do use their instant polenta (shock horror!) if I just want a bit of polenta and I want it fast - though I do enrich it with butter and lots of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano!

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  7. Polanta,It's great stuff.As a child and now i cook polanta in microwave and let it cool, or have it hot.
    chop it up with a spoon put in a bowl pour milk or buttermilk over then tuck in for the best brecky.

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  8. Fabulous recipe!! I'm going to serve this tonight with lamb shanks. Thank you!

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  9. I often serve polenta when my wheat-free friends come around and find if you let the dry enough (by cooling overnight or at least a few hours) you can fry without the flour coating as well. Shallow pan frying works well or chuck them on the bbq plate to reheat! Love your ideas. Keep em coming!

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