Smoky polenta chips (and burgers)

We had burgers and chips for dinner one day last week. With one big twist; it was polenta chips. And they tasted of smoked cheese.

Unfortunately I can’t take credit for this amazing recipe, that fame belongs to Yotam Ottolenghi, but I am very happy to spread the word.

OK, they’re probably worse to eat from a health perspective than regular chips, but they are so so SO very good. They melt in your mouth and the smokiness is just perfect with the mellow texture. In grams, they contain just as much cheese as polenta, plus they are dipped in flour and then deep-fried, so not exactly healthy. But who cares?!

Smoky polenta chips, serves 3

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe.

375 ml vegetable stock

60 g quick polenta

20 g butter

60 g smoked cheese (the recipe calls for scamorza affumicata, but I used ‘Bavarian smoked cheese’)

salt, pepper

1 dl plain flour

500 ml vegetable (or other neutral) oil

Bring the stock to the boil and add the polenta bit by bit while stirring. Let it simmer for 5 minutes while continue to stir. Remove from the heat and add butter and cheese. Stir to incorporate evenly.

Line a square or rectangular dish (mine was 20 cm and square) with clingfilm and spread the polenta into it, evenly. Leave to cool and place in fridge for at least an hour to set. Remove from the fridge, place the polenta square onto a chopping board and cut it into chip-size pieces. Coat these with flour. Heat up 1-2 cm high with oil in a frying or sauteuse pan until very hot. Deep fry the chips until golden. Drain on kitchen towel. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Burgers, makes 5

500 g lean beef mince

1 egg

50 ml breadcrumbs or one slice of white bread, edges removed and crumbled

1 tsp onion granules

salt, white pepper

2 tbsp  Reggae Reggae sauce or similar

Add egg and breadcrumbs to a bowl. Add the onions, seasoning and sauce. Stir and leave it to swell for a few minutes. Add the mince and mix well with a wooden fork. Divide the meat into 5 even pieces and shape liek burgers. Fry in butter and oil until either medium or well done, according to taste. 

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