Not the usual polenta: from appetizers to desserts, 7 original and quick proposals to amaze at the table (even the day after)
The first cold ones immediately call the polenta. Creamy, warm and enveloping, it is the dish that brings everyone together at the table. Polenta has the great advantage of being versatile, it can be cooked as a delicious appetizer, be the star of the table or even turn into a delicious dessert. Not only that: polenta is also very good the next day, when it can change into a tasty second life.
To serve the polenta, the wooden cutting board is the best choice. When the polenta is ready, it must be turned over in one go from the cauldron onto a round wooden cutting board. To cut it into slices, use a slightly thick cotton thread: let it descend from the top towards the cutting board and then slide it so as to detach the slice. Some prefer to do the movement in reverse. The result will be the same: you will get perfect slices that retain their grainy texture.
To cook the polenta, the truncated cone-shaped copper cauldron is the traditional choice. In fact, the non-tinned copper conducts heat perfectly and allows the polenta to cook evenly. To preserve its brilliance, rub it with a mixture of corn flour and white vinegar.
Finally, a useful tip: to remove polenta residues from the pot more easily, immediately after cooking, fill it with water and bring it to the heat: when it boils, the crust will come off from the bottom.
And if you have any doubt that polenta makes you fat, the answer is in quantity. A bit like pasta, it's not in itself that it's high-calorie, it's all in the sauce. To be precise, there are about 100 grams of polenta calories 359 kcal, fats 2.70 g, cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 0 mg, carbohydrates 79.90 g, fiber 0 g, proteins 8.70 g. Not bad!
Before moving on to the 7 original ideas with polenta, let's focus on another interesting proposal: have you ever thought about colored polenta?
Polenta is a perfect base for flavoring and coloring. To accentuate the color result as much as possible, the ideal would be to choose white polenta.
To flavor it, you can simmer for 2-3 '100 g of extra virgin olive oil with a sliced red onion, a piece of fresh chilli, a few peppercorns, a slice of ginger and a sprig of thyme. Leave to flavor for 5-6 minutes, then strain on the polenta.
Blend 500 g of precooked beetroot and add it to 1 kg of white polenta. Mix well with a spoon or with an electric whisk (you can also use the mixer with the whisk at low speed). You can color orange with 500 g of carrot purée or green with 500 g of broccoli purée.
Try to create a two-tone roll by spreading the orange and purple polenta separately between two sheets of baking paper. Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
Remove one of the two sheets of baking paper from both polenta, overlap them, remove the top sheet and, with the help of the remaining sheet of baking paper, roll up tightly. Leave to cool for 1 hour in the fridge, then remove the paper and cut into slices.
7 original ideas with polenta
Mascarpone and polenta
Bring 1 liter of water to a boil, add salt, add 250 g of instant polenta and cook according to the directions on the package, until it begins to thicken. Spread the polenta on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let it harden in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then cut it into slices. Shelled 250 g
of sausage and cook it in a pan with ground black pepper, over high heat, for 5 minutes; set the sausage aside and toast the polenta slices in the same pot for a couple of minutes on each side. Spread the mascarpone on the polenta, complete with the sausage and serve.
Polenta taragna and fried egg
Bring 1 liter of water to a boil, add salt, add 125 g of polenta taragna and cook for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook the fried eggs in a pan with a knob of butter. Melt 40 g of butter in a pan, along with 4-5 sage leaves. Serve the polenta taragna with fried eggs, completing with a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and melted sage butter.
Milk polenta with cooked fruit
Bring 1 liter of milk to a boil, add salt and cook 125 g of polenta for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Peel 2 mandarins, divide them into wedges and remove the
little skin; cut 12 kumquats into thick slices; cut the zest of 1 orange into small pieces. Cook everything with 1 tablespoon of sugar for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve the milk polenta with the fruit, still hot. Alternatively, cook 70 g of currants and 100 g of pomegranate seeds with 2 tablespoons of water for 3-4 minutes.
Polenta and sugar
Bring 2 liters of water to a boil, season with salt and cook 500 g of polenta for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is firm. Finally, roll it out in buttered pans forming a 2-3 cm thick layer. Let it cool down. Cut the polenta into rectangles, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with brown sugar and put them in the grill for 10 minutes. Whip 500 g of cream with 60 g of granulated sugar. Serve the sweet polenta with wisps of whipped cream.
Polenta in mixed canapés
Cut out rectangular or square croutons from the leftover polenta, heat them in the oven until they are crunchy, then season them to taste with sprigs of sour cream, smoked salmon, salmon roe, butter, anchovies and capers, dill or other herbs. to taste.
Sweet polenta in a cup
Crumble 500 g of polenta from the day before, collect it in a saucepan, wet it with a little milk, bring it to the heat, stirring until it regains a creamy appearance: you can help yourself with the hand blender. When it is homogeneous, distribute it in the cups filling them up to 3/4, sugar it according to your taste, complete with a dollop of whipped cream, sliced almonds and a pinch of ground cinnamon.
Cut out disks 5 cm in diameter from the leftover polenta, arrange them in small single-portion ovenproof dishes and season each with a few flakes of butter, 15 g of grated Parmesan, 15 g of grated pecorino, salt, pepper and 2-3 sage leaves. Bake in the oven at 200 ° C under the grill for 8-10 minutes, that is, until a golden crust has formed.