Three Ways of Enjoying Polenta

@projectfairytale: Polenta 3 Ways

Last weekend Denisa visited me and we filmed together three recipes, all starring one of my all-time favorites: polenta. In Romania polenta is the side dish of choice for many different meals or it is a meal in itself when combined with cheese or cream. Most Romanians identify it as a national dish but I only started preparing it a couple of months ago, when it became obvious that I cannot just sit an wait to enjoy it at my parents or when eating out. But I really wanted to add my personal touch to it so I tried different combinations and managed to discover three favorites. Each, really simple to make and delicious in the same time.

So, here we go, with the different polenta styles.

@projectfairytale: Polenta 3 Ways
1. Polenta with porcini mushrooms and butter:

INGREDIENTS (for 2 people):
100g dehydrated porcini mushrooms
150g corn flour (not the most fine, choose the coarser one)
salt, pepper, granulated garlic, garlic infused oil, butter
100ml vegetable stock

METHOD:
1. Boil about 200ml water and pour it over the dried porcini. Let them soften.
2. Once softened (after 20-25 minutes) strain and put the water in the pan you plan to use for you polenta. Bring to a boil and add the stock and the corn flour and stir continously. Once the corn is boiled add the butter and set aside.
3. In a pan, melt a knob of butter and add the re-hydrated mushrooms. Fry them until the excess water evaporates. Add salt, pepper and granulated garlic.
4. Put the polenta in a bowl / on a plate. Add the mushrooms on top. Spray with garlic infused oil.

@projectfairytale: Polenta 3 Ways

2. Italian Style Polenta

INGREDIENTS (for 2 people):
300g cherry tomatoes halved
200g baby spinach or ruccola
150g corn flour (not the most fine, choose the coarser one)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
50g Parmesan cheese
50g butter
salt

METHOD:
1. Boil about 200ml water with salt.
2. While the water boils, add the olive oil to a pan and smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife (it makes them peel instantly and spread their aroma without having to chop them finely). Add the garlic to the pan and fry until golden and fragrant. Add the halved tomatoes and right before taking them from the stove, add the spinach and just let it soften.
3. Once the water has come to a boil, add the corn flour and stir continuously. Once the corn is boiled add the butter and Parmesan and mix until combined.
4. Put the polenta in a bowl / on a plate. Add the tomatoes and spinach and you’re all set.

@projectfairytale: Polenta 3 Ways

3. Fried polenta sticks with spicy salsa
This is a great snack for an evening with friends ^_^

INGREDIENTS (for 2 people):
5-6 sticks of thick polenta
olive oil
For the salsa:
2 tbsp of tomato paste
2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of chili jam
1 teaspoon of garlic chili sauce (can be replaced with minced or granulated garlic)
a little bit of sriracha sauce (depending on how hot you want to make it)

METHOD:
1. For frying the polenta sticks: heat the olive oil in a pan and add the sticks. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry for 3 minutes on each side (until they get a deeper shade of golden). Set aside to cool.
2. To make the salsa: combine all the ingredients and adjust according to your taste. Serve together (dip the sticks in the salsa).

Enjoy!

And for my Romanian friends, see the video below for all the recipes and extra details. Plus a bit of fun with Denisa:

If you have any questions, let me know!

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