Polenta three ways

polenta almond milk porridge

A shout out to polenta this week, I’m here to try and change the minds of anyone who still thinks polenta is just a bowl of slop and help you see it for what it actually is a brilliantly versatile comfort food. Yeah sure its derived from a Northern Italian peasant food but I think food originating from a humble peasant background are some of the tastiest.

polenta figs porridgefig almond polenta porridge

I don’t think polenta has any particular health benefits but because its made from corn it is gluten free so for anyone with a gluten allergy or  intolerance polenta may well be your hero. It will give you the satisfying full heart warming feeling that a bowl of pasta or mash potatoes would. So to showcase polenta I’ve made three simple recipes using instant polenta. I rustled up a creamy almond milk polenta porridge which I topped off with baked figs, almonds, stem ginger and honey, you can of course add any fruits, nuts and seeds you like.

herb polenta cake

fried egg polenta cake

Another breakfast dish or a lunch is this  herb polenta cake with the addition of comte cheese making it super tasty and topped off with a fried or poached egg. Lastly polenta chips which I’m sure you will have all tried if you haven’t your missing out, be sure to roll the chips in dry polenta before frying to make them extra crispy. I sprinkled my chips with a fragrant lemon and rosemary salt which is super easy to make.

herb polenta cake and egg

fried egg on polenta

There are loads of other ways to use polenta one tip is to roll out your home made pizza dough in it to make an extra crispy base or  you could try it in baking check out my nectarine, almond and polenta cake. Are you a polenta fan? What’s your favourite way to eat it?

polenta chips

lemon rosemary salt

Polenta porridge

polenta porridge

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 15m

Ingredients

  • 100 g Instant polenta
  • 1 tsp. Light brown sugar
  • 450 ml Almond milk
  • 2 Figs
  • 2 tbsp. Almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 2 tsp. Stem ginger, diced
  • 2 Dried apricots, diced
  • 2 tbsp. Honey

Instructions

  1. Roast the figs in a medium heat oven for about 5- 10 mins.
  2. In a pan bring the almond milk to the boil then gradually add the polenta and sugar, keep stirring and cook for about 5 mins. Serve instantly topped off with the roasted figs, almonds, stem ginger, dried apricot and honey. You can of course add whatever fruit, nuts, seeds you fancy.

 

Herb polenta cake with fried egg

Herb polenta cake and egg

  • Prep Time: 25m
  • Cook Time: 15m

Ingredients

  • 185 g Instant polenta
  • 750 ml Chicken stock
  • 100 g Comte cheese
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp. Chives, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. Parsley, chopped
  • 4 Eggs
  • oil

Instructions

  1. In a pan bring the chicken stock up to boil and then gradually add the polenta stirring all the time with a wooden spoon cook for about 8 mins then stir in the cheese, herbs and salt.
  2. Grease four cake rings and place on a lined baking tray or plate. Distribute the polenta between the four cake rings and pack down. Firm up in the fridge for 20 mins.
  3. In a frying pan gently heat a little oil. Push the polenta cakes from the rings and gently fry on each side just until slightly crisp and golden. Now fry your eggs and serve the polenta cakes with a fried egg on top.

 

Polenta chips with lemon and rosemary salt

polenta chips

  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 1h 20m

Ingredients

For the lemon citrus salt

  • 125 g Maldons sea salt
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp. Rosemary, finely chopped

For the polenta chips

  • 185 g Instant Polenta
  • 750 ml Chicken stock
  • 100 g Comte cheese, grated
  • 2 L Oil

Instructions

For the salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 100fan/ 120c/250f on a baking tray distribute the salt and sprinkle over the lemon zest and rosemary really rub in the zest with your fingers releasing the oils into the salt. Now bake for about 60 mins until zest has dried out, Leave to cool then blitz in a food processor and store in an airtight container.

For the polenta chips

  1. In a pan bring the chicken stock to the boil and then gradually add in the polenta, set a little polenta aside to roll the chips in. Keep stirring all the time with a wooden spoon cook for about 8 mins then stir in the cheese.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and pour in the polenta spread out as evenly as possible. Leave to firm up in the fridge for 20 mins.
  3. Heat the oil to 180 degrees. Cut the polenta into chip shape and roll in dry polenta. Fry for about 5 mins in batches until golden and crisp. Drain and then coat in the lemon and rosemary salt.

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