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Food: Fried Polenta

February 10, 2011

I’m getting into polenta lately- it’s easy to make, easy to experiment with, and a nice change from my somewhat steady diet of pasta. A few things I have learned from my instant polenta adventures:
1) Polenta congeals really quickly. If you aren’t serving it immediately after you make it, it won’t be any good in its most basic form.
2) Polenta should not be made with water, even though many instant polenta boxes recommend this- use chicken broth or milk instead and it will be much creamier.
3) Polenta will quickly take on the flavor of whatever spices or additions you are using, so add them slowly and adjust if necessary.

One instant polenta box makes a fair amount of food, so an easy trick to another meal is spooning half of the polenta into a muffin tin and storing it in the fridge. You can then make Fried Polenta with Vodka Sauce for leftovers night.

Fried Polenta with Vodka Sauce

Prepare one box of instant polenta and season with salt and pepper (or however you would like), spoon into muffin tin (do not use muffin cups or plastic wrap). You can store this over night if you are using this as a leftover polenta meal, or just cool for 30 minutes.

Heat a non stick pan, add several tablespoons of olive oil. Using a fork, gently pry the polenta cakes out and place in pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned.  Top with vodka sauce, or the sauce of your choice. Voila.

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