I'm poor. It's not a secret, because I'm not alone. Come on, admit it, thanks to the GFC and the constant threat of redundancy, mortgage foreclosure and not having enough money left on a Friday night to buy beer, we're all skint.
Due to my skintness, I haven't been eating out very much, and so have nothing to review for you guys, much to my dismay. I've been caught in a conundrum: pay off credit card asap and sacrifice lifestyle, or carry on being frivolous. I've chosen the former.
As a result of this decision, I have been on a mission to eat cheap, and eat well. Over the next few months I will be looking at, cooking, eating and blogging about the cheapest and tastiest consumables I can find.
Lucky for me, who has no desire to do a Morgan Spurlock, vegetables, pulses and grains are about the cheapest things out there. Today, I am on the polenta bandwagon.
Polenta is awesome. I eat it all the time. Italian translation: cornmeal mush. A traditional northern Italian dish, but with potential ties back the Ancient Greeks, who ate various cereal porridges, or polos. After corn was introduced to Italy in the seventeenth century it overtook all other types of grain because it combined so well with dairy products. Funnily enough, I love polenta because it combines well with dairy products also, namely cheese.
While traditional polenta takes hours of cooking with constant stirring, readily available instant polenta only takes a few moments to prepare, and is very delicious. Healthy too, if you don't put too much cheese in like I do.
Place 2 cups of water in a pot and bring to boil and add a tablespoon of vegetable stock to water. Add 1/2 cup of instant polenta, and lower heat to minimum. Stir polenta contantly for about 5 minutes. I like to throw in a cup of grated cheese in also. When cheese is melted you're ready to roll.
Polenta can be eaten soft, and it a great companion with stews and casseroles. Or, as I like to do, spread polenta in a flat slice tray which has been lined with clingfilm (makes it easier to get out of tray). Allow to cool and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Slice polenta, add a light coating of oil and gently fry of grill for a crispy outside and a soft mushy interior.
There are so many ways to use polenta: cakes, muffins, slices, sweet, savory - the uses are endless. Polenta is great friends with French and Italian foods, and is easy on the hip pocket. Tasty and useful, I admire that in a foodstuff.
So next time you are at the market, grab a packet. $2 worth of polenta goes a long way. Then go home and Google polenta recipes. Too easy. Enjoy.
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