Fried polenta cakes
The first time I cooked this recipe for fried polenta cakes, the mixture was thicker so I was able to shape it into burgers shapes before frying. It was fine and better with the braised chard and fried eggs, but I thought the polenta could be tastier. This time, I made a looser mixture and added grated cheese. It was necessary to take greater care when frying the patties but it was worth it and they were a lot tastier.
Polenta is extensively used in Northern Italy. Traditionally it was necessary to boil the polenta for long periods of time as it was made from coarse cornmeal. However, instant versions made from yellow or white cornmeal are now available and these can be prepared in minutes. Polenta can be served as a soft, thick mush topped with a sauce. Alternatively the pre-cooked polenta mixture can be cut into slices or wedges or shaped and baked, fried or grilled. Polenta can also be used instead of breadcrumbs to coat fish before frying.
This dish works well served with braised chard, fried eggs and garlic mayonnaise.
If you are not using cheese, then you will need to increase the amount of polenta to 100g per person.
70g polenta per person
2 handfuls grated hard cheese
salt and pepper
Put the polenta in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour over a glug of olive oil and enough boiling water to form a soft dough. Mix in the grated cheese.
Heat some oil in a frying pan. Depending on the consistency of the polenta mixture, you can either shape into burgers or drop a large spoonful of the mixture into the frying pan. Fry the patties for 4 or 5 minutes on each side (or until they are golden brown).