May 30, 2014

Polenta & Parmesan Gold Nuggets

The theme of this week is eating.

There have been no style posts this week, as I have been all about rejuvenating my taste buds again after being a bit under the weather towards the tail end of this working week. Not being able to taste my food with this faff of a sinus blocking my sense of taste has been frustrating at best. There has been some baking of the bread variety, but with those results yielding a "meh" reaction, I'm unsure whether I'll share those recipes. What I am damn sure of, is needing to share this little nuggety gem.

These little gold nuggets are the most moreish things that God could put on this earth. I mostly wanted to replicate what Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant serves as a side dish, but with the added Cayenne pepper, it elevates the moreishness and zing of these nuggets to another level.


Serves 2-3 , double it up to serve 6!

  • 1/2 cup Polenta (white Polenta also works) + a little extra for sprinkling
  • 500ml litre Cold Water
  • 1 tsp Maldon sea salt + extra for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • A couple of fresh Rosemary stalks
  • A couple pinches of Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • Rice Bran Oil for frying*
1.  Save a couple tablespoons of the cold water and pour the remainder into a saucepan with the sea salt. Place over the stove and turn up the heat for the water to boil. Meanwhile place the 1/2 Cup of Polenta into a bowl and mix in the little bit of cold water saved earlier, so that its like wet sand/paste.
2.  Once the saucepan of salty water is boiling, slowly place the polenta paste into the boiling water stirring vigorously. Turn down the heat and continue stirring the mixture regularly over low heat for 15-20 minutes (30 minutes if you've doubled this recipe).
3.  5 minutes near the end of the stirring time, stir in half the grated Parmesan, and then spread the Polenta mixture over a rimmed dish (bearing in mind you will want to tear the Polenta into cubes later so you want a good level of thickness when you spread out the Polenta). Leave to cool or leave in the fridge to cool until you are ready to fry.
4.  Heat up a deep medium saucepan full of Rice Bran Oil (sauce pan should be 2/3 full of oil) on the stove until it is deep frying temp. Tear or cut the Polenta into cubes and roll it around in some loose Polenta before frying it in batches, for about 3-5 minutes per batch or until pale golden (they are basically ready when the oil stops bubbling and the nuggets stop floating about).
5.  Once each batch is cooked, place on a paper towel prepared plate.
6.  Serve in a bowl with the remainder Parmesan cheese on top, toss through some rosemary leaves & a couple pinches of Cayenne Pepper. DEVOUR ASAP ... or if you started the frying process early and not everyone has arrived to eat, place into a 160 Degrees Celsius oven to keep warm and crisp, then sprinkle over the Parmesan later when you're ready to serve!

*For a healthier option, instead of frying, you can consider laying the nuggets out on a baking tray, spray with a bit of oil and toss into a hot 180 Degrees Celsius oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Crunchy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside, dare I say it, better than potato fries ;) You can definitely try cutting these into strips or mold them into different shapes.
Happy weekend guys!

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