Monday, April 18, 2011
Green Pea Polenta Cakes: A Side Dish & Brunch all in one!
Today, as I was in the grocery store, my eyes fell on a bag of cornmeal. Strange... I haven't used cornmeal in ages. I really think it's because of moving. You see, I always make sure my pantry is full. You might call me a kitchen hoarder, but I just like to say that I am well stocked. Anyway, every time we move, we spend weeks before hand emptying out our pantry. That basically means using up as much stuff as we can and not buying anything else! As difficult as it can be when you get low in stocks, the more interesting the meals become.
So, once moved to a new location, I always start again to stock up the pantry. But it takes time. And something always gets overlooked. In this case, the cornmeal.
But I am so glad I have found it again! It is so easy to make and has endless possibilities. In this case, I made a great side dish which turned into an easy brunch also! Two dishes in one! Can't go wrong with that!
I cooked the polenta with some peas and aromatics then cooled it in a pan and cut it into little cakes. These cakes were then pan fried until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Yum!
These polenta cakes are great as a side dish to any sort of meal. And the leftovers are amazing for brunch with a sunny side egg on top. Reminds me a little of the cheesy grits with poached egg that my husband loves so much!
Green Pea Polenta Cakes
Makes 12 squares (6 servings of 2 squares each)
1 tbsp Canola Oil
1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Cornmeal
4 cups Water
1 1/2 cups Frozen Peas
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil or Butter for cooking
Prepare a 9" by 13" cake pan by lining it with plastic wrap.
In a large pot, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add polenta and water and bring up to a boil. Reduce to low. Stir continuously until polenta is cooked, about 20 minutes (alternatively, stir for the first few minutes, cover for about 10 minutes, then stir again). Stir in the frozen peas and salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should be creamy and smooth.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and smooth out with a spatula. Place in the fridge to cool and set.
Once cool, cut into 12 squares. Up until this point, this recipe can be prepared ahead and kept in the fridge until ready to use.
Heat some butter or olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the polenta squares and cook until browned on both sides and hot in the middle (about 5 minutes per side).
Serve as is or as a side dish to any meat, fish, or poultry. Or, for a yummy brunch, serve with a sunny side up egg on top (and bacon on the side...)