Pan Browned Vegetable Flecked Polenta Recipe

From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book.

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Pan Browned Vegetable Flecked Polenta

From Dorothy McNett's recipes at One of the many dishes dating back to antiquity, polenta was the staple food of the Roman army. The original version was made with wheat and millet, but today the dish is based on coarsely ground cornmeal. These thick slices of vegetable-flecked polenta, browned quickly in a little oil, make a good accompaniment for steak or skewered beef.

1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons minced green or red bell pepper
3 tablespoons minced, oil-packed dried tomatoes (or 1 fresh tomato, minced)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oil from the dried tomatoes, or extra virgin olive oil
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups polenta
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2-3 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil for frying

In a 4 or 5 quart pan over medium heat, combine onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of the broth; bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat.

Meanwhile, mix polenta with remaining 1-1/2 cups broth. Using a long-handled spoon, gradually stir polenta mixture into the pan of boiling broth; it will thicken and spatter. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and at once spoon polenta into a 4x8" loaf pan. Let stand for 30 minutes to firm, or let cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (OR, instead of cooling and molding, simply scoop out patties and saute like making little pancakes.)
To unmold the cooled polenta, run a knife around edges of pan and turn polenta out onto a board. Carefully cut crosswise into slices. Cut slices diagonally in half, if desired.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10 to 12 inch saute or fry pan over medium heat. Add as many polenta slices (or patties) as will fit without crowding. Cook, uncovered, turning as needed, until golden on each side, about 5 minutes; remove from pan and keep warm. Repeat to cook remaining polenta, adding more oil as needed.

Recipe created 1996-05-11.

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