April 03, 2020

Fried Polenta Pizzette

 

Recipe:

Polenta is one of those classic, much loved northern Italian dishes that can be prepared in so many different ways.  When served as a PRIMO, polenta is delicious mixed with cheeses, ai 4 formaggi,or topped with a hardy, stewed mushroom medley, a rich meat sauce - sugo di carne, or a slowly stewed wild boar sauce - cinghiale in umido.  Yet another delicious way is when once cooled, leftover polenta can be fried, and then served alone or with delicious toppings. Today it will be Pizzette di Polenta fritta. Let's get started!

  

Supplies:

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams Polenta (we used instant polenta)
  • 1 Liter plus 100 grams water 
  • 10 grams salt
  • Good drizzle olive oil for the water
  • 20 oz Vero Gusto Calabrian Marinara Sauce is what we used in this recipe, but just a simple POMAROLA is also a perfect and delicious option
  • 2 mozzarella balls or shredded mozzarella for topping 
  • Cayenne pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • Fresh parsley or fresh basil for garnish 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the Mangiafuoco Home Gas Pizza Oven to about to 356°-375°F - 180°-190°C the day you are ready to fry the polenta.  
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by coating it with olive oil all over or by lining it with parchment paper.  Set aside. 
  3. Bring 1 liter of water to a boil, add the salt and drizzle about one Tablespoon of olive oil into the pot.
  4. Remove from the heat source and slowly pour the polenta into salted boiling water, stirring continuously.   
  5. Place the pot back on the heat source and bring the polenta back to a gentle boil and cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Be careful not to get burned as it tends to sputter and splash.  A whisk is helpful to break up any clumps but a wooden spoon also works perfectly to stir.  At this point it may be necessary to add just a little additional water if too dense.
  6. Once the polenta has thickened, pour it into the greased baking pan or one lined in parchment paper.  Spread it as evenly as possible and then smooth it out with your hands with an additional sheet of parchment paper by gently running both palms of your hands over the surface, as shown in the video. 
  7. Cover the polenta with plastic wrap, and allow to it to set overnight in the refrigerator.
  8. The next day, preheat a pan of oil to fry the polenta.  The temperature of the oil should be  165°-180°C - 329°-356°F. 
  9. Cut the cold polenta into either squares, triangles or rounds.
  10. Carefully fry each square for two to three minutes on each side.  With a strainer remove the polenta from the oil and place it on a food safe absorbent paper. 
  11. Once all of the polenta has been fried, transfer each piece on a baking sheet.
  12. Top the polenta with a spoonful of the Vero Gusto Calabrian Marinara Sauce or the simple recipe for Pomarolaover each piece of fried polenta.  Place small slices of mozzarella cheese over the top and sprinkle each with a little bit of the cayenne pepper flakes. 
  13. Transfer the baking sheet with the polenta into the preheated (356°F - 180°C) Mangiafuoco Home Gas Pizza Oven.  Allow them to bake for about 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  14. Remove from the oven, arrange over a bed of arugula, and garnish with fresh basil or parsley.  Enjoy!    
Buon Appetito!

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