November 1, 2006

Making Pizza on Polenta

Polenta; one of the very few "grains" I have been trying hard to learn to love. I've made several attempts at polenta, even cookies!.... but it's just one of those bland tasting staples I'm not too big a fan of. I decided to have a go at cooking polenta in full-flavored chicken stock and generous lashings of herbs and parmesan. This time; it worked out great... it wasn't bland at all; but the slightly grainy texture it gives out still turns me off. Sigh* dear corn meal....please teach me to love you.
Polenta is made with either coarsely, medium or finely ground dried yellow or white cornmeal (ground maize), depending on the region and the texture desired.[1] As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier forms of grain mush (known as puls or pulmentum in Latin or more commonly as gruel or porridge) commonly eaten in Roman times and after. Early forms of polenta were made with such starches as the grain farro and chestnut flour, both of which are still used in small quantity today. When boiled, polenta has smooth creamy textures, caused by the presence of starch molecules dissolved into the water.(wikipedia)
This recipe makes 2 medium sized round pizza base.

1 cup fine polenta

1 1/4 cup liquid chicken stock
1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh oregano/thyme
2 tsp sea salt

Boil stock in a small saucepan till it bubbles furiously. Add herbs, salt and add polenta in a thin stream; whisking continuously with a balloon whisk. Cook till mixture resembles a thick, smooth mush.
Splat it out onto a greased tray or a silicone baking mat if you have one.
Spread it out into a fairly thin circle (depending on how thick you want your base). Leave the base to hardened for about 30-40 minutes. Preheat your grill in the meantime. When it's fairly solid, top the base with pizza toppings of your choice, add delicious mozzarella and shove the tray under the 180 degree grill for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and polenta sides are crisp.


Anonymous said...

wow how creative Suyin! I never really liked polenta but when it is in its crunchy form I cannot resist it. Give me crunchy polenta anytime instead of the boring prison gruel stuff.

Su-Yin -D├ęcorateur said...

oH JEN! haha i have a surprise for you ;), look out for an email from me in the next couple of weeks. I know you'll just love it! hehe
back on the topic of polenta....I'll be trying deepfried polenta nuggets in these next couple of days...I found a recipe on creole cuisine from my weekly's going to be delish! I cant wait!

laureen said...

That looks so yummy!

Incidentally a recipe for polenta pizza was featured in last month's delicious magazine. I have it bookmarked, was gonna give it a shot after i make a batch of chicken stock. Now i really can't wait after seeing how yours turned out! =)