Thursday, 9 June 2011

Punching with Polenta

Despite my love of all things Italian, I was a polenta virgin. Polenta is really peasant food but as with all things artisan polenta was appropriated by the gourmet chefs as a new addition to high end restaurants and thus it was introduced to the aspiring middle classes. LinkLink
Until last Sunday, I have steered a wide berth of anything to do with polenta. Truly I feared it. However Mr MDS is a purveyor of Olive the foodie magazine and it recently had a review of Tom Aikens new cook book Easy accompanied by a recipe for Lamb rumps with rosemary and parmesan polenta. Mr MDS loves a bit of lamb so I decided to be brave and surprise him with a Sunday lunch that wasn't roast chicken.

The ruddy polenta wasn't peasant prices! In fact it cost £5.20 in Waitrose but I did love the authenticity of it and the packaging. I set to Mr Aikens polenta recipe and it was a winner. Everyone wolfed the polenta down even the petit garcon. The lunch was aided by a discovery all of my own - a Ravens Wood Californian red Zinfandel, the year was 2007. I chilled it first in the fridge and it really suited the wine.

I'm not sure if I can reproduce the recipe but just in case I'd be infringing copyright etc. I won't. But as it is Father's day soon maybe the recipe book would be a good present accompanied by a bottle of Ravens Wood.


  1. Heh heh, Polenta.

    I used to know a terrible middle-class-foodie (ie food to show class, not down to taste) who would rave about polenta and then sneer at my Jamaican/Asian cornmeal (Dunns River or Natco, £1 a bag). She was mortified when a food-lover-for-food's-sake informed her that in actual fact the two are interchangeable in many everyday recipes!

    My husband doesn't like Polenta or cous-cous and it drives me potty as they are my two fave carb ingredients.

  2. So know what you mean, I have always avoided polenta in restaurants and in cooking because I always expect it to be bland and boring. The recipe sounds lovely though so I will have to check out my copy of Olive ( I love that magazine) .

  3. Like Perdita I love polenta but Jon doesn't. If it was up to him we'd have chips every night. xxx

  4. I like baking with it and have tried quite a few different recipes - it goes especially well in almond cake.

    I also tried out a healthy-ish fried chicken coating with polenta. Dead easy - take some chicken goujons, dip in flour (gluten free in my case), dip in beaten egg, dip in polenta that's been mixed up with salt and other seasoning (paprika is good), then shallow fry in either olive oil or rapeseed oil. Yum!

  5. Dear Kate, I've never really understood polenta but that I love Tom Aikens so please let us know how it is. The wine looks delicious xx


Thank you for commenting, much appreciated. Sorry about no longer offering anonymous comments but spamming had become a very annoying issue. xxx