Polenta, an healthy and delicious food
Polenta is an Italian dish that the majority of Italians know. This food was, for many years, the staple diet of many farmers because of its low cost, easy availability and good supply of calories that could provide to better face the cold and tiring days of work.
- Sunday, 22 November 2015
It is predominantly a winter dish, which is prepared generally in mountain areas, but now it has become quite common to make it almost everywhere. The most common quality is the yellow polenta, made with cornmeal flour that usually requires a fairly long time of preparation and tools, as the copper pot. Polenta in this cauldron was (but still in some areas it's made same way) cooked and stirred with a long wooden spoon, until ready to eat. Today, however, there are many ways of cooking it and a lot easier to manage (for example to use an electronic stirring pot) but also different types of corn flour, such as instant polenta, which takes only few minutes of cooking to be ready. Polenta originally was, however, not made with cornmeal, this happened only after the discovery of America. It was originally made with other types of flour, the most common at the time: barley, buckwheat, millet. These flours today are not nearly as used to prepare the polenta, since they are a bit 'more expensive but also not so easy to find. Alessandro Manzoni in "The Betrothed" cites the polenta (in this case taragna quality):
"He went even to the house of a certain Tonio, who was there nearby, and found him in the kitchen, which, with one knee on the steps of the hearth, and holding with one hand, the rim of a pot, put on hot ashes, squirming, with a rolling pin bent, a small polenta drab, of buckwheat. The mother, a brother, his wife of Tonio, they were at the table, and three or four boys, standing next to my father, were waiting, with staring at the pot, that was the time to dish up "
Polenta can now be cooked in a thousand of different ways, not counting the sweet versions. Today I'm going to teach you a recipe a little different to use polenta leftover: polenta fries.
- 700 ml of milk
- 600 ml of water
- 400 g of instant polenta
- 4 tablespoons of Parmesan
- 40 g butter, melted
- 2 l of oil for frying
- 2 teaspoons salt
Boil the milk and water together. When boiling, pour the corn flour inside and cook for 5 minutes, stirring with a whisk until it will thicken.
Add the Parmesan cheese, melted butter, and salt is mixed well.
Spread the polenta in a dish or a roasting pan, forming a layer of 2 to 3 cm thick and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Heat the oil
Cut the polenta in sticks, 10 cm long. Take them gently and place in hot oil, spacing them well.
Once the polenta fries are golden brown on all sides, put them to drain from the excess oil on a plate covered with kitchen paper. Serve very hot with a little freshly ground pepper on top.