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Polenta Cutlets

July 23, 2011

My family has been a little scattered recently – my son working at camp in northern Minnesota and husband and oldest daughter in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  As much as I love seeing my peeps do the things that they love to do … I’m really glad to have everyone home again!

Last night my kids made dinner – their choice was pasta.  The #1 rule in my house with people helping out in the kitchen is that most things are “chef’s choice.”  If you’re the one making it for everyone, you get to decide the details.  Because we didn’t have any gluten-free pasta in the house, and I wasn’t about to run to store to get some, we also made polenta cutlets to go along with the pasta.

Polenta is one of those things that I love more than life itself.  It’s simple as can be, is as versatile as all get-out and can be made an infinite number of ways. Think .. risotto.  The sky’s the limit when it comes to what to add to risotto. Polenta’s the same way (only, dare I say, a little less pretentious?).  I love making cutlets with it because they’re not a substitute for something else – they’re delicious all on their own.  You can make them with plain polenta or add it what you have in your pantry and fridge.  I generally top them with marinara sauce, but they’re also amazing with roasted vegetables or mushrooms in wine sauce.  Really … they’re just GOOD!

Polenta Cutlets

1/2 cup chopped onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

olive oil

10-12 pitted and roughly chopped kalamata olives

1 cup cornmeal

2 cups vegetable stock (or water or chicken stock)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil, until soft and golden.  Add in the olives (chopped sun dried tomatoes would be good, too) and cook for a few more minutes.  Stir in the cornmeal and then slowly pour in the vegetable stock.  Keep stirring until the polenta thickens.  Simmer, and stir until it is thick and creamy.  Season with salt (grated Parmesan – or other – cheese is good stirred in here at this point, too).

Pour polenta onto an oiled baking sheet or pie plate. Spread it out evenly so it’s about 3/4 to 1 inch thickness.  Allow to cool in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.  Cut the polenta into squares or wedges.  Place cutlets onto an oiled baking sheet, about an inch apart.  Bake for 15 -20 minutes (we tossed a little grated cheese on top of the cutlets and baked a few  minutes more). Remove from oven and serve.

Breaded polenta cutlets are also really good – after cutting the cooled polenta, dip the cutlets into a beaten mixture of 1 egg + 1/4 cup milk mixture and then into seasoned bread crumbs.  Place on oiled baking sheet and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, turning once after about 20 minutes.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Heather permalink
    August 7, 2011 11:09 am

    This looks really yummy! My family is willing to eat polenta – but hasn’t been that excited about it. I like the idea of sauteing onion and garlic and adding kalamata olives. Sounds like that would make it “special” enough to entice my peeps to eat it.

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