I was really excited about getting my new Jamie Oliver cookbook, 'Jamie's Italy' because I've actually watched him cook a few recipes from it on TV and they looked REALLY good.
Leafing through it, one of the first things that caught my eye was the polenta crisps. A few months back, I bought a packet of polenta on a whim and haven't done much with it besides back a batch of corn bread. I also had rosemary at the ready and since that was part of the recipe, it just seemed ideal.
This was my first time cooking polenta on the stove with water. I wasn't really sure how anything was supposed to go. In his book, Jamie described the process quite dangerously - he mentions that polenta can be aggressive as it's cooking with all the spitting and spluttering. Well, cooking is an adventure so I heeded the warning and went ahead anyway.
Rosemary Polenta Crisps
- 1/2 cup of polenta
- 2 cups of water
- few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- handful of grated Parmesan cheese
- salt to taste
1. Bring the water to the boil. Add the polenta and stir on medium-high heat for 20min or so.
2. Lower the heat and continue to stir for another 5min.
3. Line a tray with greaseproof paper and spread the polenta inside to an even thickness of about 1.5cm.4. Wait for the polenta to cool down till it is set like rubber.
5. Either cut the polenta into chips or tear it up into rough chunks. Toss the pieces around in more loose polenta powder.6. Heat up a pot of oil. Check if it's ready by tossing in a polenta piece. If it starts bubbling straight away, you're good to go. Put all the pieces in and fry for about 4-5min till crispy.7. In the last 20sec, throw in the rosemary pieces.8. When all the polenta is cooked, take them out of the oil and drain on paper towels. Toss the Parmesan through and sprinkle with some salt. Serve immediately.
I cooked up 1/2 the polenta in roughly torn chunks. The rest was cut into neat chips and reserved for the next day (when I served them with my lamb chops).
On both occasions, these polenta crisps really excelled. I got a beautiful golden, crunchy exterior and soft, corn-flavored inside. In the original recipe, the Parmesan is supposed to be mixed into the polenta after it comes off the stove. I forgot to do this so I just sprinkled grated Parmesan on at the end whilst the chips were still hot so that it melted onto the outside. They tasted great to me but who knows - maybe mixing the cheese into the mixture will be even better.
I loved the rosemary and Parmesan flavors here. Parmesan on anything fried and crispy reminds me of the fries at Moo Moos, which is to this day, still the BEST I've ever had. Anything that revokes that memory must be good!