Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Recipe: Fried Herbed Polenta

This is adapted from a recipe by Faith Stone of Shoshoni Yoga Retreat. Polenta is known in the south as corn grits, and it can be purchased in the bulk section of Whole Foods. I would guess that they also sell it at Sunflower, although I haven't checked. Ghee is clarified unsalted butter. It is popular in traditional Indian cooking, and it is also used for sauteeing in fine dining restaurants. They do sell ghee in Indian grocery stores, but it's much cheaper and easier to just make your own.

1 cup polenta
3 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
Dash of pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
Handful of chopped fresh herbs (oregano, parsley, tarragon, savory, thyme, or basil)
2 tsp ghee or olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)
Additional ghee or olive oil for frying

Add polenta slowly to boiling water, whisking. Bring back to a boil, whisking steadily. Add salt, pepper, pepper sauce, herbs, olive oil and cheese, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture has the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Pour into a buttered bread loaf pan and chill until solid (about 3 hours). Slice the polenta cross-wise (like bread) and lightly fry. Serve alone or with fresh tomatoes or marinara sauce.

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