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Polenta

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by annap28, May 19, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,
    Has anybody got any suggestions for polenta? Bought a bag to use as a coating for some some prawns, but other than that I'm a bit blank as to what to do with it! I've had a look on bbc food but wasn't feeling particularly inspired.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Hi everyone,
    Has anybody got any suggestions for polenta? Bought a bag to use as a coating for some some prawns, but other than that I'm a bit blank as to what to do with it! I've had a look on bbc food but wasn't feeling particularly inspired.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  3. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    I've never seen the appeal in polenta used for its most common purpose - i.e. as a starchy accompaniment to a meal. It's been seasoned, buttered, parmesaned, yet still seems a little bland and dull, with an unappealing texture. Frankly, it always seems little more than what it is, which is a staple starchy food - it's roots are as a subsistence food in poor parts of the world, in fact white cornmeal is the staple "pap" in most African countries, eaten as a porridge. Nothing wrong with staple "peasant" foods, of course, but this one is just dull.
    Best thing to do with it is make a cake! Let me know if you want a recipe.
     
  4. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Ahem....*its*
     
  5. I agree nick909, I have had it served once before, in an African restaurant, but wasn't over excited by it then either! I'd love a recipe for a cake if you have one, thanks very much[​IMG]
     
  6. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    I had polenta in Venice with fegato a la Veneziana, the most gorgeous liver and onions. A student did tell me how to make it, I'll see if she's still in the school.
     
  7. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    This is the polenta, almond and lemon cake from the River Cafe Cookbook. Like everything in the book, it's very good. This cake is huge, so you could easily halve the quantities depending on your appetite for cake, shortening the cooking time slightly.
    450g (1lb) unsalted butter, softened
    450g (1lb) caster sugar
    450g ground almonds
    2 teaspoons good vanilla essence
    6 eggs
    zest of 4 lemons
    juice of 1 lemon
    225g (8ozs) polenta
    11/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    preheat oven to 160°C. Butter and flour a 30cm (12") cake tin.

    beat butter and sugar together until pale and light. Stir in the ground almonds and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the lemon juice and zest, the polenta, baking powder and salt.

    spoon into prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 mins, then check. If the top is deep brown before cake is set, place a circle of greaseproof paper on top to prevent burning while the body of the cake cooks through.

    the cake seems to take about 1h 30m in all.
     
  8. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    Well, I actually like polenta as served to accompany a dish such as goulash. it needs to be cooked with a stock, not just water. Apparently you can also use milk, but I've never tried. Then add a large piece of butter, lots of parmesan, salt, pepper and a good amount of fresh herbs. Cooked like this, it's delicious.
     
  9. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I have a recipe for a low-calorie southern fried chicken which is delicious and easy. Let me know if you want me to dig out the recipe for you.
     
  10. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I love polenta like this - I often make it when I have large amounts of sage in the garden because I think polenta and sage work quite well. I think polenta absorbs other flavours quite well so if you serve it with a saucy dish, then its a nice accompaniment.
     
  11. Thanks everyone for the lovely recipes, the chilli with cornbread sounds great bombay saphire, and I will definitely try the cake - thanks Nick909! egyptgirl I would love the recipe for the southern fired chicken please, sounds really good. Thanks again.
     
  12. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    OK, so this serves 2.
    Flatten a chicken breast using a rolling pin and cut into bitesize strips. Lightly whisk an egg white in a bowl. Mix 40g polenta, 15g grated Parmesan, cayenne pepper, zest of 1/2 a lemon and chopped parsley. Dip the chicken into the egg white and then into the polenta mixture making sure its well coated. Fry the chicken in 1/2tbsp olive oil until its cooked through.

     
  13. You can use it as topping for a pasta bake.
    Or make little "biscuits" and use instead of scones or dumplings with a stew.
    Tell that to the Italians and Austrians! They use polenta a hell of a lot!
     
  14. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Yes, you're quite right CQ - in my post though I mentioned white cornmeal as being used a lot in Africa rather than the yellow polenta used more in Italy etc.
     

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