Monday, March 22, 2010

Fried Polenta Sandwhiches

Yesterday Carlie opened the fridge and noticed a tube of polenta. What shocked me was that she had never tried polenta before. What kind of Italian has never tried polenta?!? I teased her about it, but insisted she had to try the stuff and she agreed.

It was such a nice day. I had several delicious gluten free meals. In fact, a friend asked if I'd gone 100% gluten-free. I haven't, because I'm hoping to get tested for gluten intolerance and celiac disease along with food allergies this coming Wednesday. But I had almost no migraine all day, and was able to sit outside in the shade on the patio enjoying time with Carlie and some educational reading.  She admitted that she had been avoiding my gluten-free cooking because she knows we're going to go gluten-free soon and she's enjoying the "bad stuff" as long as she can. I told her I had been trying to ease us into this new lifestyle and that I was worried it would be even harder for her if she didn't start eating gluten-free now and then.  

I opened up The Gluten-Free Italian by Jacqueline Mallorca and read parts of it to her.We enjoyed some of the ideas so much, that we couldn't help but put together our own version of her fried polenta sandwiches. Here's what we ended up making:

Fried Polenta Sandwiches:
1 tube ready-made/formed polenta

Thin slices of Italian cheese (we have some amazing cheese selections on hand due to Patch working at AJ's deli) 
deli sliced ham
gluten-free flour
1 egg
gluten-free bread crumbs 

You can buy pre-made gluten-free bread crumbs or you can make your own.

Slice Polenta into 1/4 inch slices. slice cheese into thin slices with a mandolin slicer or potatoe peeler. lay cheese and ham slices on a piece of polenta then lightly press another piece over it, and repeat until several sandwiches are put together.

Dip each mini sandwich into gluten-free flour. Beat the egg and then dip each flour dusted sandwich into the beaten egg mixture, and then into the panko-style gluten-free bread crumbs. Then fry till each side is golden brown.

This recipe left us with an awesome crispy outside, and a warm and soft inside to the polenta. It made me think of a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich somehow. Next time I'll have to try this with the cheeses and prosciutto recommended in the book! Meanwhile Patch bought the ingredients for an Italian recipe I thought we'd all like, and Carlie has decided to go through the book herself and mark the recipes that call to her. Plus we're in the search of a good gluten-free lasagna so that she can make her family recipe of lasagna which is SOOOOOOO good.

Obviously this is not a vegan nor even a vegetarian meal, but it could easily be made into one by replacing the ham and/or cheese in the recipe with some sliced vegetable you like such as tomatoe, mushrooms, eggplant, etc. 

By the way, I loved these fried sandwiches so much I could see them becoming a frequent fixture on the dinner table. I'll have to take a picture of them then, because they smelled so good that when Carlie handed me the plate I just wolfed them down without stopping to take a picture of their golden-brown goodness.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Coincidence! I had polenta for dinner with beans. I used Colavita brand from a box and cooked it for about 5 minutes. Poured it into a bowl added the Puerto Rican style beans on top aand drizzled it with a little extra virgin olive oil.
I have a Glorious Grits cookbook presented by Southern Living and it is a beautiful book.