During the week I always try to eat very healthy and the most important for me is to reduce my meat consumption. But the weekend on the other hand, I’m delighted to have a very nice piece of meat. So last Saturday we had steak with these smoky polenta chips instead of a regular french fries. I mean I love french fries, who doesn’t !!? But these polenta chips are incredibly tasty too, crispy from the outside and soft on the inside, flavoured with smoked Italian cheese « scamorza affumicata ».
It’s a perfect side to go with any meat or fish, as you can serve them as an appetiser with aioli or tomato sauce like in this recipe. It’s also a very interesting way to use the polenta.
The polenta chips are versatile, you can flavour them in endless way, like here with this recipe from Ottolenghi “ truffle polenta chips”.
What is scamorza affumicata cheese ?
The recipe calls for “Scamorza affumicata”, which is an Italian cheese made from cow milk or a mixture of cow and sheep milk, it’s a semi – soft white cheese with a texture comparable to a dry mozzarella. It has a tawny outer pellicle which comes as a result of a particular smoking process. And that explains its distinctive smoky flavour.
In this recipe and according to Ottolenghi, you can substitute it with another cheese such as “Italian provolone” or “applewood smoked cheddar”.
So how to make these smoky polenta chips ?
This recipe is from “plenty more” one of my favorite Ottolenghi’s book.
Bring the vegetable stock to a boil, turn the heat down and slowly add the polenta while stirring until all the polenta is incorporated. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring all the time. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, the cheese, black pepper and salt. Taste before adding salt, because of the cheese and in case the stock contain salt , so make sure to not over-season the polenta. Stir and once the cheese and the butter have both melted into the mix, transfer to a small shallow tray and spread it evenly.
Then let it cool down before placing it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can do it a night before if you want.
Next cut the polenta into sticks, toss them in the flour until well coated, shake off any excess of flour and fry them. I know what you’ll say it’s not exactly healthy, but who cares ? it was the weekend my cheating day, and above all it was sooo delicious. Who can resit to a steak and a crispy smoky polenta chips ? Definitely not me.
If you have tried these “smoky polenta chips” or any ther recipe on the blog, please let me know in the comment below, I love hearing from you.