How the buggery do I cook polenta without it tasting like wallpaper paste?

(46 Posts)
LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 20:41:36

confused Stupid me went into Carluccio's to buy some bread and came out with a packet of this as well. It's quick cook stuff but we've eaten it before (thanks Jamie Oliver) and it was vile. I never learn! sad

Add a shot load of parmesan. Its the only way.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 20:45:32

Won't it taste like cheesy wallpaper paste? Don't try Jamie Oliver's polenta chips. They are not great at all! sad

SugarMiceInTheRain Fri 19-Apr-13 20:47:12

Use it to make cornbread instead of eating it on its own? Other than that I have no clue - it tasted blah when I tried to eat it as a dish in its own right...

cruxible Fri 19-Apr-13 20:48:23

Hugh fw has a good recipe in his veg book for polenta chips. They are delicious. But of a faff to make though.

Chazjm Fri 19-Apr-13 20:49:04

My dad used to add loads of cheese. It was comfort food heaven. Never tried it myself though.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 20:49:08

Cornbread? confused

I don't have Hugh's book sad

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 20:51:04

I have lots of cheese! Cheddar, cheap parmesan, philadelphia, bousin. I'm guessing the last two won't help.

DistantShip Fri 19-Apr-13 20:52:56

Oh. BBC Good Food have a fab recipe for lemon polenta cake. Mmmm

Cook it with stock, add lots of Parmesan, don't make it too wet.
Serve it with a sausage ragu or slow cooked beef shin.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 20:56:53

cake? shock Mmmmm!

half for a lemon cake, half with sausage ragu! grin

Thank you wine

Startail Fri 19-Apr-13 21:04:14

Stick up wall paper with it.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 21:05:35


FannyBazaar Fri 19-Apr-13 21:08:28

Lemon polenta cake, jalapeno polenta muffins or used to coat wedges or prevent pizza base sticking.

I like it made firm, set, cut into cubes and stir fried or barbecued. Haven't done it for years.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 21:09:43

Stir fried polenta? confused

I'm off to google!

piprabbit Fri 19-Apr-13 21:13:24

I have a lovely recipe for polenta with chicken, which is very easy and quick but uses the blocks of ready-made polenta instead of the dry stuff.

Break your block of polenta into bitesize chunks and put in the bottom of a roasting tin. Drizzle over some olive oil, add a bit of garlic and a healthy amount of grated parmesan. Shake the tin until the polenta is covered in oil and cheese.

Scatter over some cherry tomatoes. Sit 4 portions of chicken (breast or thigh) on top of the tomatoes and add some herbs (rosemary is nice but most italian flavours go well).

Roast until the chick pieces are cooked and the polenta is going crispy and golden on the edges.


I had it once on a ski-ing trip in the Alps smile and was delicious served with puy lentils and some sort of ham. Also, possibly crucially, after it had been boiled up I think it had been baked eg. in loaf tin and then sliced, or sliced and grilled ? I think the boiled version only can be pretty sloppy wall-paper can't it ?
Also needs salt (cf ham ?), cheese, or some savoury assistance I think.
I can completely sympathise with the impulsive shopping - I'm always picking up odd things. But then I'd rather do that than stick to a very strict, basic shopping list. You only live once !
Let us know how it goes ....

I think we might be getting a Carluccio's in town sometime soon.
Perhaps there's hope yet !

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 21:21:38

You can buy it ready made? shock envy I have puy lentils I have poncy stuff in my kitchen and I have no idea what to do with them Boiled can be vile.

I'll take a picture of it for you! grin

MousyMouse Fri 19-Apr-13 21:21:51

you don't.
vile stuff.
feed it to the birds?

LordEmsworth Fri 19-Apr-13 21:22:08

The HFW recipes in the veg book can be found only. I've only made the chilli cheese chips but they were yummy & v moreish...

Chilli, cheese & rosemary polenta

Polenta with mushrooms

There's also several recipes here including a tart that uses polenta as the crust - intriguing...

HFW polenta recipes

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 21:22:37

I would have stayed in there longer, Juggling, the waiter had a voice I could listen to for hours! wink

LordEmsworth Fri 19-Apr-13 21:22:47

Only? Online!

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 21:24:00

Don't like mushrooms and ds doesn't like anything spicy sad

I'll check out HFW's recipe's though, thank you smile

Yes, I think ready made and then sliced and fried (or grilled ?) is the easiest way forward with polenta. But I'm sure it shouldn't be too hard to get the same effect with the natural variety, and probably actually a superior flavour ?
A picture would be great smile

StiffyByng Fri 19-Apr-13 21:32:55

Coat parboiled potatoes to make extra crunchy roast potatoes.

idiot55 Fri 19-Apr-13 21:34:32

dont , it does taste like walpaper paste.
chuck, in the bin or feed to ducks

Hmm, the crunchy roast potato idea sounds quite good.

Or you could always be really brave and take it back as good excuse to hear the sexy Italian waiter again smile

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 21:43:03

Roast potatoes sound lurvely. It's only a 500g bag, I may need some more and I ate all of the bread blush

I'm determined to make it tasty.

NorbertDentressangle Fri 19-Apr-13 21:49:34

Don't be fooled into thinking that just because the word 'cake' or 'muffin' is included in the recipe title that it will be nice.

We had polenta in a savoury, veggie dish and it was shit. To use up the rest we found a Polenta muffin recipe and......they were foul. Even the DC wouldn't eat them.

We put the leftovers in the freezer ( leftover muffins are unheard of normally!), ignored them for about a year and then binned them.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 21:51:53

sad Bugger! I wil find something tasty to make with this. People must buy it and like it, they wouldn't import it otherwise lives in denial

EggsEggSplat Fri 19-Apr-13 21:52:11

I always grill polenta (brushed with olive oil). When it's just cooked it's a sloppy mess.

EggsEggSplat Fri 19-Apr-13 21:53:35

Nigella's lemon polenta cake is scrummy.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 21:57:05

Nigella ads all sorts of expensive stuff to her food. Dare I look??

Cheap chick here, nothing in there I didn't get in Lidls grin

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 22:19:54

There's a Lidl down the (very long) road. What do they sell? Anything tasty?

Far too much loveliness for my waistline! But more importantly, the rest of the ingredients for Nigella's cake (can't remember if they sell polenta though).

EggsEggSplat Fri 19-Apr-13 22:28:25

Lidl is really good for things like jars of antipasti (sundried tomatoes, posh mushrooms in oil etc) that go really well with grilled polenta. Also some cheese. I'm veggie, so I wouldn't really know, but my parents (usually Waitrose shoppers) swear by some of the Lidl smoked salmon and salami-type stuff. And the wine.

EggsEggSplat Fri 19-Apr-13 22:31:15

Oh, and I'm not sure if Lidl does it, but if you want cheap polenta, go to the world food aisle at Tesco and look for Jamaican cornmeal. It is basically the same thing.

starfishmummy Fri 19-Apr-13 22:38:01

Chuck it out and have mashed potatoes instead.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 22:40:49

She puts ground almonds in it. envy

I have some jars of sundried tomatoes. I may take a trip for some wine though. I don't like Tesco. It's the principle of it they are taking over the world

No, no mash. The potatoes are sprouting. sad

I like their biscuits and chocolate - interesting things like chocolate coated gingerbread, and good quality choc with nuts smile
Veg always good too, and ours has just opened a little on-site bakery too - great for choc croissants and such like smile
Still think a Carluccio's could add a touch of class though !

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 22:58:24

Place was empty apart from the hot waiter

gomummygoes Fri 19-Apr-13 23:08:09

I cook it with chicken stock, parmesan cheese and quite a lot of chili flakes. Then chill to set, cut into cubes. Toss cubes in olive oil and grated parmesan and roast or fry until crispy on all sides.

The cubes make great bases for appetizers, go well with goat cheese & prosciutto & a grape tomato/olives/artichokes, etc.

FannyBazaar Sat 20-Apr-13 22:32:13

LadyMary I think the stir frying was my own invention, did you find anything googling it? Cubes of polenta, small broccoli florets, quorn (I suppose you could substitute chicken), lemon rind and garlic, I think I use sesame oil, then a bit of stock and lemon juice then a bit more stir frying.

My simplified version of Nigella's lemon polenta cake:

For the cake:
200g sugar
200g ground almonds
100g polenta
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
200ml light and mild olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
3 medium eggs
2 medium lemons (zest - save juice for syrup)

For the syrup (optional):
2 lemons
125g icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180g, grease a cake tin if not using a silicone pan. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl then in a separate bowl or jug, beat the eggs and add the olive oil, beat together. Pour the eggs and oil into the dry ingredients and mix to combine, add the lemon rind.

Pour into cake tin and bake for about 40 minutes.

For a truely sweet sticky cake, make the syrup by heating the icing sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved then pierce cake with cocktail stick and pour over the syrup to allow it to soak in.

This cake can be sliced up when cool and frozen in pieces ready for packed lunches. It is quite sticky and crumbly with the syrup but utterly delicious, without the syrup is still worth making and easier to handle for a packed lunch.

Nigella may shop somewhere where ground almonds are sold in 200g bags but mine come in a bag of 150g so I use half ground almonds and half polenta.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now