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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Praise for Polenta

Nancy really enjoys polenta. I’d only had it twice before – once in a lamb ragu recipe dish while in Indianapolis and in my attempt to replicatee the dish after we returned home. During our last trip out of town, we came upon polenta again. It reminded me of that prior experience and, within Nancy raving about how good it was, I opted to try to make it again.

Sorry for the terrible, terrible quality of the images! I used my phone this time. Big mistake!


My last attempt at polenta was substandard. Thank goodness the ragu was full of flavor. Otherwise, the dish may have gone to the trash. This time, I opted to do some experimentation.

I follow the standard procedure of four or so times the water included while boiling the polenta. But my added procedure was in the few additions. When the polenta was nearly done cooking, I stirred in Parmesan cheese, chives and pepper. I also added a bit of unsalted butter. Goodness! I wish I’d had ghee on hand.

I skipped baking the polenta, as I had the first time I cooked it. Instead, I swift fried the polenta. Swift fried is a relative term here. I think I used the wrong pan. I wanted a nice, even sear but, instead, the polenta began to fall apart at the edges. I would suggest a sauté pan perhaps if you are going to try this at home.

As for that strange concoction sitting atop the polenta -- that's a crab claw mixed with Dijon mustard, olive oil infused mayonnaise, salt and pepper. My mistake was adding entirely too much mustard and mayonnaise. Way too much. Really, I should have gone with about a teaspoon of each -- a tablespoon at the most. The flavor was nice, but it drowned out the taste of the crab, which is what I was going for. Arrrgghhhh!!!

See, after all this time -- still learning.

In the end, though, it came out well. In retrospect, I might have added a sharper cheese. The Parmesan cheese was nice, but did not have as potent a flavor. And I might also have added some gently cooked onions or scallions. Oooh!!! Now I’m thinking of all sorts of ideas! It's such a versitile grain!


  1. I think the best technique for polenta is to cook it completely before adding anything to it. Some people like really loose polenta, others a tighter variety that you allow to cool and then slice and fry. I like either one. I can't tell for sure from your description, but did you allow the polenta to cool completely before frying it? That's essential. But don't give up. Track down a Lydia Bastianich recipe. She knows from polenta (and a lot of other things).

  2. And I had polenta for a week! The photos look fine La Monica.


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