Wednesday, December 01, 2004

viva polenta


Photo nicked from silvasonic. Thanks. Sorry.

So I've been on a wheat and sugar free week. The lollie jar at work was getting to be too much my friend. The weekend was hard - it was so hot that all I could think was "gelati, gelati...". But a gorgeous bbq breakfast at Jessie's helped - haloumi wrapped in fresh vine leaves was my big contribution and we all agreed it will have to become a regular on the summer barbie circuit.

Now I'm starting to feel heaps more energetic and enjoying living without the constant sugar craving. Plus there's the whole self-control kick... oh dear.

Going wheat free, my biggest friend this week has been polenta. I had a great dish at Sonia's house on Monday night: Polenta with Haloumi, vegies and caramelised onion. And even better - on Tuesday she brought me lunch at work: polenta with eggplant parmigiana. I forgot how much I love eggplant parmigiana - I thought my Mum had cooked it so much I'd never eat it again, but I was wrong. But back to Polenta: this stuff is the bomb! Eating corn based food always makes me feel really good. And if you have a slab of set Polenta in the fridge you never go short of a meal. Sometimes I grill a piece up and have it with spreads for breakfast. Last night we had it grilled with a leek, mushroom and cream sauce. Or you could make Eggplant Parmigiana and have a real feast.


All you really need for this is polenta (cornmeal), salt and pepper and water. It's even better with lots of cheese - parmesan or fetta - but that depends how much of a health kick you're on.

You could use instant polenta but I haven't tried it yet. All the recipe books say that you need to break your arm stirring the polenta constantly, but if you have a good heavy pot it doesn't seem to stick that much.
  1. Put 8 cups of water in your big heavy pot and heat it up.
  2. When it's hot, but not boiling, add 3 cups of polenta. Add it really slowly, stirring with a whisk to avoid any lumps. Add salt and pepper here as well. You can even cook it in stock like my housemate if you want.
  3. Cook the polenta on a medium heat for 30 - 40 minutes on a low heat. Stir it as often as you can. If it gets too solid you could add a bit more water.
  4. When the polenta stops tasting like raw maize it's ready.
You can serve the polenta sloppy - which is like a delicious Italian mashed potato - just add heaps of cheese and butter. Gorgonzola is ridiculously good in this. Generally though, I serve it firm. Pour the polenta into a lightly greased baking dish and leave it to set in the fridge. Once set it can be sliced up - into slabs or triangles or whatever - and grilled or fried. I prefer grilled. Then serve it with something saucy, or turn it into a vegetable stack, or spread some avocado on it and call it breakfast. Sonia also recommends adding fetta and olives before you pour it out to set - haven't tried it yet but I can imagine it's great.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you ain't 'nickin' shit buddy =) and yes, viva polenta!