Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fancy Leftovers... Polenta Fries With Marinara Sauce

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If you have been subscribed since the beginning, you know by now that I am a big fan of leftover meals.  By that I don't mean reheat and serve the same thing the following night.  Uh uh, I mean redress into something as good or even better.  The last recipe I posted was for creamy polenta.  If you refrigerated or froze the leftovers you are ahead of the game; and if you happen to have frozen some marinara sauce when you last made it, well, this recipe is a walk on the beach!  For those of you who didn't, you can still make this, just plan ahead two hours which is the time it will take for the polenta to firm up in the fridge.

Yield: 6 servings


3 cups Basic Polenta, recipe follows

Flour for dusting
2 cups olive oil, for frying
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 cup  Marinara Sauce


Lightly oil an 11 by 7-inch baking dish. Transfer the hot polenta to the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly to 3/4-inch thick. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Cut the polenta into 2 by 1-inch pieces. Dust lightly with flour. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the polenta pieces until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the polenta pieces to paper towels and drain. Place the polenta pieces on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining batches.

Transfer the polenta pieces to a serving platter. Sprinkle the polenta with the Parmesan cheese and salt. Serve, passing the marinara sauce alongside.

Basic Polenta:

6 cups chicken bouillon

1 teaspoons salt

1 tsp. rosemary

1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 Cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

Bring 6 cups of beef or chicken bouillon to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoons of salt, and 1 tsp of rosemary. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the butter, the cheese and stir until melted.

Note:  Polenta also comes ready made in tubes found in the Italian section of your supermarket.  They are pretty good.  In that case serve the fried rounds in plates wih forks and spoon some sauce on top and sides.

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