My mother has always cooked polenta, it is truly a food from my childhood, and any left over polenta she would always cut up the next day and fry for us. I loved it. Now she didn't make chip shapes, but it was the same. But many times she would cook polenta on a Sunday for lunch and she would stir bacon and a homemade tomato sauce through it. We would eat that for lunch, but any leftovers she would spread out and then fry in squares for us to enjoy the next day.
When making the polenta, have a kettle full of boiled water ready, if your polenta while cooking feels too thick, you can add a little boiling water to it, to loosen it up, if needed.
The reason I say to taste when adding parsley, is because although I love parsley, I don't like when there is too much of it. The original recipe stated to use one bunch of parsley, I would use maybe 2-3 tablespoons of chopped parsley, at most.
So if you love polenta, like I do, I'm sure these will become a favourite in your house, like it is mine.
Makes about 30 pieces
1.5 litres water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
300g coarse polenta
25g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 anchovies, finely chopped
Italian flat leaf parsley, to taste, finely chopped
200g mixed mushrooms, finely chopped
15g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in a little boiling water for 15 minutes, then drained and finely sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
150g unsalted butter, for frying
15 fresh sage leaves
Make the polenta: Put the water and salt in a large pot and bring to the boil. Add polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Turn the heat down to low and cook the polenta for 30-45 minutes, stirring from time to time. When the polenta comes away from the sides of the pot, it is cooked.
Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms. Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until it begins to soften, then add the garlic, anchovies and parsley and cook for a further few minutes. Add all the mushrooms and continue cooking until soft. Taste for salt (remembering that the anchovies will have added some already) and add pepper, to taste.
Stir the mixture into the cooked polenta, combining well.
Pour the polenta onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, spread the polenta to about 1 1/2cm thick. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 120C/100C fan forced.
Cut the cooled polenta into 5cm x 2.5cm pieces.
Working in batches. Heat some butter in a frying pan and add a few sage leaves. Fry the polenta pieces until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the polenta chips to paper towels and drain. Place the polenta chips on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining batches, using more of the butter and sage as you go.
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