Sunday, December 27, 2009

Polenta of Possibilities

Inspired by a new cookbook I received for Christmas, my culinary adventure du jour was polenta. The recipe was as simple as cornmeal, water, and salt but I decided to spice it up with 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper. Once the polenta had cooked, I pressed it onto a lined cookie sheet and allowed it to cool for about an hour. Using a cookie cutter, I created small rounds. Each one was brushed with olive oil and pan fried for 2 minutes on each side creating a wonderfully crisp outer shell on which to perch delicious toppings. I dressed the crunchy cornmeal cakes with onions that were caramelized in apricot nectar and butter. This brought a wonderful sweetness and balanced the heat of the cayenne pepper. Since it was truly a blank canvas on which to create, fried polenta has secured it's place as another weapon in my culinary arsenal.