Modest ingredients in a simple recipe, the preparation of fried polenta marries the clearness of water, the golden color of corn and the amber shades of oil to give life to a traditional dish that never ceases to conquer the world.
Polenta is a traditional Northern Italian dish, but has become a classic nationwide thanks to its simple taste, made of corn flour and water, that is also versatile enough to be included in the greatest restaurant menus in the world. Towards the end of the 1500s, corn was a prosperous crop in Italy and quickly grew to become the basic ingredient of the working-class meals.
A low-cost alternative, corn flour was consumed on a daily basis in the shape of polenta, accompanied with a variety of ingredients. Polenta was a nutritive poor man’s dish that made its way to the tables of the aristocracy, like many other Italian recipes, and today it has become of the most beloved dishes of world famous international chefs!
The making of polenta requires a great deal of time, and is cooked under a low flame inside a cauldron, and should be constantly stirred throughout the entire process. Fortunately, today pre-packaged polenta exists and can ease the process of making crispy fried polenta.
Cut the polenta in slices of at least 1 cm wide. Alternatively, you can dice it in 1 cm cubes; any smaller would make them break apart during the cooking. Dry the polenta with a paper towel to reduce the humidity. In a saucepan, heat up an abundant amount of extravirgin olive oil to deep fry the pieces of polenta.
When the oil is hot, dip the pieces of polenta – small amounts at a time to keep the oil hot and guarantee the right amount of space for the polenta to fry perfectly. Fry the polenta for at least 10/15 minutes until the exterior turns into a golden crispy crust. Drain the fried polenta and place it in a piece of cardboard for fried food, season with a pinch of salt and serve while it’s still warm!
You can also flavor your fried polenta by adding some cheese. And how? By placing the fried polenta on a piece of paper towel and add a piece of soft cheese on top. The cheese will melt with the heat and make for a matchless tasting experience!