Inspiration. I watch cooking shows ALL. THE. TIME. It's ridiculous. I mean aside from my parents, my only form of culinary "education"..if you will.. is what I learn from the folks at Food Network and the Cooking Channel. So, I try my best to learn what I can from those pros. In this case, a very bubbly and charming Italian by the name of David Rocco whom prior to me utilizing google just now, I'd never really heard of much. In fact, when I did upon chance come across his cooking show before quickly switching to the next, I found it to be very cheesy and hard to watch...at times. But, one episode in particular...one dish in particular that he made found its way into the crevices of my mindhole where it has remained there for a good few months now! haha
Impulse. The tweaking commenced and my very own fried polenta recipe was sitting in front of me waiting to be tasted complete with delicious basil, tomatoes, and a sunny side up to brighten your morning.
Motivation. The verdict? pretty damn good...in lowercase letters. After all, I probably wouldn't blog about something I wasn't really proud of. But, I want to further explore this though and see what else I can do with it.
Let the polenta journey begin...
What you'll need:
- 2 C corn meal
- 8 C of water divided
- 3/4 C grated parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 C fresh basil finely chopped
- 1/2 C of extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp canola oil
Place corn meal in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add 3 C (out of the 8 you will need all in all) of water. Add salt and pepper and whisk all the ingredients until water is absorbed. Keep adding more water in small batches until corn meal is creamy. Combine cheese, basil, and EVOO until well incorporated and corn meal is cooked.
In a cookie sheet or casserole dish lined with wax/parchment paper. Mold polenta into a large rectangle. Place into refrigerator for a few hours or until polenta is firm. When it's firm, cut polenta into small rectangles (or circles, whatever you want really)
Fill skillet with canola oil about 1/2 inch over high heat. Sear each side until golden brown.
Serve over a large slice of tomato(s) with a sunnyside up egg on top garnished with fresh basil for more flavor. The polenta will be crispy on the outside and soft, creamy, and cheesy on the inside :)
For vegetarian version, replace egg on top with another tomato. It will still be full of flavor!