Creamy Fried Polenta with Goat Cheese.
Polenta doesn’t have a huge fan base in my house. Funny enough though these little squares were gobbled up over several days by an array of teenagers who ate first and asked questions later. They were all surprised they had eaten both goat cheese and polenta and were keen for more. I love the art of food deception.
” What are these Mum?”.
“Just sort of crumbed cheese ” is what I said and added “Just eat them.”
I have found that polenta is universally accepted when cooked with the right amount of cheese. Sure it’s not for everyday but it is a very delicious wintry treat. It is unhelpful I can’t cook polenta more often as we always have a large amount of broken packages of this nutty organic polenta at work. This is Polenta de Storo ( of the mountain) grown in the south western mountainous area of Trentino. Here a co-op of farmers band together to promote and produce the products famous to the region in true slow food style. Most products are organic and traditionally made, like this air dried and low heat milled polenta. Quick cooking polenta is highly processed and excessively heated and will never taste like this chunky, corny variety. I dont find this polenta to take that much longer than a “quick cooking one” but boy does it taste different. I rain it into a pot of stock and stir before leaving on low and coming back occasionally to stir. No trouble at all.
However, if you can only find fine milled polenta you can still make this recipe.
This style of crumbed polenta make great canapés or entrees or it’s even perfect for lunch. Try it with some roasted mushrooms or a tomato and basil salsa with some shaved parmesan.
To serve the polenta with mushrooms toss 500gm (8oz) field or button mushrooms with a 1/4 cup of olive oil whisked together with 4 tablespoons balsamic ( or another sweet vinegar), chopped parsley and basil and salt and pepper. Put onto a lined tray and bake at 180/350 till the juices are released and they are tender. Add pancetta for crunch and a tomato salsa made with chopped tomatoes, chives, parsley & olive oil with balsamic. If you like garlic add that too.
You can also eat your polenta just as it is instead of potato or rice.
- 1 cup of polenta
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 100gm goat cheese
- 100 gm parmesan
- 50g butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 packet panko crumbs
- Rice bran or olive oil for frying
- Bring the stock up to the boil and gradually add the polenta , whisking till combined.
- Turn down the heat and simmer slowly stirring occasionally. The mixture should be quite thick, but with enough liquid to allow it to simmer and absorb. don't panic and add lots of extra stock. you may only need about ½ cup extra if anything.
- For quick cooking polenta start with 4 cups of stock and add more if necessary.
- After an hour test the polenta with a spoon. It should be soft. if not cook a little longer
- Whisk in the goat cheese, parmesan and butter till melted and combined season with salt and pepper and taste. It will take quite a lot of salt, like mashed potatoes.
- Pour into your tray, cover and refrigerate till cold. (overnight or in the freezer for a couple of hours).
- Turn the polenta out onto a board and peel off the paper. Slice into small or large squares and crumb. Dip in flour, egg & milk and then Panko bread crumbs.
- Put the polenta back into the fridge to chill.
- Heat a shallow fry pan with about 1 cm ( ¼ inch of oil. I use a mix of olive and rice bran). When the oil is hot add the polenta and brown on each side till crispy. Drain on paper. keep warm while you continue to cook the other polenta.
Find polenta di storo at www.lario.com.au