Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Polenta Two Ways

Tuesday nights I go to yoga. Class starts at is at 8:15. That means either have to eat really early or really late. I generally like to eat early, since I'm hungry these days. Monday night's dinner left me with enough leftovers so that I could pull together a delicious dinner in no time flat.

On Monday I put the leftover polenta into a flat Tupperware, and yesterday I cut it into squares and lightly coated them with a little flour. I then pan fried the squares in olive oil and topped them with the leftover pork shoulder, which I shredded and reheated with the rest of the sauce.

Here's my recipe for both soft polenta and fried polenta.

1 cup polenta (ground corn meal)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cream (optional
1⁄4 cup chopped herbs (optional)
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring the chicken stock to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Preheating a medium-sized, heavy bottom pot over high heat. Add the polenta into the hot pan and to toast until it smells slightly nutty. Reduce the heat on the pot and whisk in enough chicken stock to cover the polenta. Continue to whisk until the mixture just begins to form slow, thick bubbles. Add in more chicken stock, one ladle at a time, whisking the mixture often.

The polenta is cooked when the mixture’s graininess is transformed into a creamy texture, about 35 to 40 minutes.

When the polenta has reached the correct consistency, remove it from the heat and stir in butter, cream, cheese, and herbs. Add salt and pepper and needed.

After you have removed the portions that will be eaten immediately, pour the remaining polenta into a flat Tupperware and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

For fried polenta, cut into slices or squares and remove from the Tupperware. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Lightly coat polenta squares in corm meal or flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Add two tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add the polenta cakes to the pan and cook for two to three minuets, until golden brown. Using a spatula, flip the polenta cakes (turn always from you to avoid being splattered by the hot oil). Cook on the second size until golden brown, another two to three minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Serve hot.

No comments: