Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sweet Grilled Polenta Cakes

Mmm, I have been dreaming of some polenta cakes for some reason. I don't know why; it's not like I ever ate polenta much before. But I think the thought of making them like mini-cornbreads was making me eager to invent something using polenta here. It's that time of year when normally, back home, the weather would be getting kind of chilly and I'd start making pots of chili or other cold-weather comfort food like cornbread. But here in Swaziland, things are just starting to get hot. Really hot. Summer is right around the corner here, and luckily, these little polenta cakes are just as good cold as they are hot. This is what mine looked like when I started to brown them in the pan:

Sweet Grilled Polenta Cakes
½ cup polenta
2 cups boiling water
½ tsp salt
3/8 - 1/2 cup sugar, to taste
3/8 cup gluten-free self-raising flour (I used self-raising rice flour) OR 1/8 – ¼ cup gluten-free rice flour plus
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Cooking spray

Decide if you want to bake the polenta cakes for a firmer texture and preheat the oven accordingly (350 F or 180 C).
Add the boiling water to a heated pot and add the salt. Bring the water to a full boil, then add the ½ cup polenta, stirring constantly. Stir over low-medium heat until the mixture has become very thick. Remove from heat and add the sugar to taste, and then the gluten-free flour. If you want polenta cakes that will be firmer in the middle, let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes to stiffen. But if you prefer the middle to be soft and gooey (still polenta-like) in the middle, use the batter right away. Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat the pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add big dollops of the polenta mixture and cook for at least 5 minutes on each side, and then longer depending on how browned you want them to be and how gooey you want the middle to be. If you prefer them to be very soft on the inside, remove from heat and serve immediately with sauce, grilled or sautéed vegetables, as an accompaniment to a meat dish, or anything else. If you make them sweet enough, they would be delicious drizzled with honey or spread with jam. If you would like them to be firmer in the middle, remove from the griddle and place onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake the cakes for 15 – 25 minutes at 350 F.
And voila - this is what you end up with!

No comments: