Gluten Free Fried Polenta Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on July 19, 2009


They say that the secret to creating something great is a good foundation.

I know this to be true. I used to live in earthquake country and houses without good foundations fall down. I had a business relationship where we did not clarify the basics before starting and that fell apart. Hell, gravity being what it is I no longer look so fabulous in my slinky black dress without the correct “foundation undergarments”.

The same is true for cooking. If you want great bruschetta or someplace to put your perfectly poached egg it is wise to have a good foundation. Something that tastes great and holds up. Bread is good for this but alas that nasty little gluten intolerance thing gets in the way of that. So what’s a gluten free person to do?

My answer is often fried polenta. I make a batch of polenta, spread it out on a baking sheet, let it firm up in the fridge and then cut into what ever shape is called for; squares, circles, triangles, stars, you name it!

Depending on the use you can flavor it up with chicken or vegetable stock, milk, herbs, spices and all sorts of cheese.

This is a versatile little building block to have on hand when you need a good foundation for something greater. But you know what? They are also fantastic as is, even better when sprinkled with a little grated Parmesan, minced herbs and fresh ground pepper.

Gluten Free Fried Polenta Recipe

Ingredients

4 cups water, stock or milk
1 – 2 teaspoons salt (depending on cooking liquid – more for water & milk, less for stock)
1 cup fine grain polenta
1 cup cheese (Parmesan, monterey jack, cheddar) – optional
Olive oil for frying

Directions

In a heavy saucepan bring liquid and salt to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add the polenta gradually, whisking constantly. Continue to cook and whisk for 5 minutes, the mixture should be thick and creamy. Reduce heat to low and add cheese if using. Stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted and continue to cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently. If not adding cheese then just continue to cook and stir on low for 10 minutes once you have reduced the heat.

Invert a rimmed quarter sheet baking sheet on the counter and top with parchment or waxed paper. Spread the polenta out with a spatula (a large metal off set spatula works best) into a smooth, even layer. Top with another sheet or parchment or waxed paper. Take another baking sheet the same size and place the bottom on top of the parchment or waxed paper. You will now have the polenta sandwiched between both the baking sheets. Gently press down on the top baking sheet with both hands until the polenta is even and the thickness you want, I usually do ¼ inch thick. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Remove the top baking sheet and top layer of paper. Slide the bottom paper with the polenta on it onto a cutting broad. Cut with knife or cookie cutters into desired shape and size. I usually make triangles by cutting 3½ inch squares and then cutting the squares in half on the diagonal. If you do this you will get 24 good sized triangles.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to lightly coat. Once the olive oil is heated place the polenta pieces (smoothest side down first) and fry for about 3 – 4 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and fry the other side until it is golden brown.

Servings

Makes 12 – 48 depending on size and shape.

Ready for dessert?

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Need a quick meal?

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Categories:    Appetizers

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

H.Peter July 19, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Polenta! The most underrated side dish in cooking.

We always have some in the fridge.

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Chow and Chatter July 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm

great idea love polenta and my baby liked this also LOL

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Jennifer July 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Fried polenta: ding-dang, that sounds fantastic. I have some polenta in my pantry! Oh, and the undergarments comment-so damn true. I wish we could defy it. Are you going to BlogHer?

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White on Rice Couple July 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Oh yeah! Fried polenta is super tasty. That perfect foundation, just like you say.
Gravity or no, you are beautiful from the inside, shining out.
The final suggestion of parmesean, herbs and pepper is a total winner. Have a great week. Todd

Reply

Peter G July 19, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I love fried polenta! Not only is it easy but it can be "jazzed up" in a variety of ways. I love the simplicity of serving it with Parmesan and herbs…yum!

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Miss A July 19, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I love polenta! great reminder. thanks!

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Kim McGowan July 19, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Ooo, I had forgotten about polenta… its difficult to get here in India (but always have it handy in the UK)… have you tried it with dried fruit, cinnamon and nutmeg in. Its a great weekend breakfast.

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Erin Swing July 20, 2009 at 5:07 am

Yum! Such a classic, fulfilling rustic Italian dish. Goes perfectly w/ frittatas, lol. Beautiful picutre!

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faisal July 21, 2009 at 3:40 am
Jas. July 23, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Love polenta especially fried and cut into chips and served with some snacks as something different.
My favourite breakfast in Melbourne is poached eggs on 'fried polenta hash browns' (no potatoes used) with a lovely basil pesto and fried mushrooms! Oh my gosh my mouth is watering all over again!

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Mary August 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Several years ago I purchased a GF cookbook. One of the recipes called for polenta. I used it in the recipe and it was too wet, and after spending all that money on the ingredients plus over an hour in the oven I had to throw it out. . A few years later I noticed Bob’s Red Mill is now labeling their dry fine cornmeal as polenta. So my question is do I use wet or dry?

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Carol Kicinski September 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Hi Mary,
Well, polenta is cornmeal, it’s just ground a little thicker. If the mixture seems to wet add just a little more polenta until you achieve the desired consistency. Let me know if this answers your question!
xo,
Carol

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