Polenta in a fight to the death

Lemon polenta biscuits

Five reasons why polenta would beat you in a fight TO THE DEATH!

  1. Stealth: almost impossible to find in the supermarket and never in the same place twice. Will it be with the polish food? In the Jewish section? I’ve seen it with the pasta and the flour. No one knows.
  2. Camouflage: it’s cornbread, no, it’s a pizza, no, it’s a deep fried side, then while you’re off to get a napkin it’s GONE!
  3. Skills: Polenta can easily fluff up with a bit of hot water, but in a biscuit can keep its form and stay crunchy. Even though it’s baked. Brilliant.
  4. Alliances: Vegetarians, tick. Coeliacs (in it’s basic form), tick. Unsuspecting children, tick.
  5. You will underestimate it: derived from grain mush, classed as peasant food, even called gruel, it knows how to play down play it’s abilities until it’s too late for you…

When I get in to something I really get into something. And lately I’ve been reading the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’ve polished off two books in seven days and am just starting the third.

Consequently my entire being has been overtaken with thoughts of terrible fights to the death, corrupt governments and evil survivor style games. I’ve walked in to people in the tube in my refusal to put my kindle down and cooked a whole risotto while reading.

Considering I usually cover my eyes during surgery scenes in Grey’s Anatomy, I’m shocked at myself.

And as far as polenta goes. I’m just saying. Watch your back.

I modified this recipe from a little unknown chef called Jamie Oliver.

Now if you excuse me, I have a book to read.

Just a side note, a week after publishing this I finished the series. As I say in this post I was really taken in by the first book and beginning of the second. But in this bloggers’ humble opinion, the third book completely let down the series. But in the words of Ben Folds “some guy on the net says I suck, and he should know he’s got his own blog…”

So make up your own mind!

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups medium non-instant polenta or yellow cornmeal
170 grams (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of salt
2 eggs

Method
Note: the below method is from the original Jamie Oliver recipe. I just mixed it by hand (didn’t use a food processor) and never chilled it in the fridge. It was fine.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°. Line several baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine the polenta with the butter, sugar, flour, orange zest and salt and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add the eggs and pulse just until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a bowl and refrigerate until slightly firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Using two teaspoons, drop slightly rounded teaspoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. They will spread, so make sure you give them space.
  5. Bake the biscuits for 15 minutes, or until golden around the edges and on the bottoms.
  6. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 36.

Healthy: 80 calories a biscuit.

Gluten free: swap out the flour and it is.

Storage: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week or frozen for 1 month.

20 Comments on Polenta in a fight to the death

  1. Just A Smidgen
    17 August 2011 at 9:54 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow, I have never heard of this type of cookie! Your photos are so pretty, they sure make them look so delicious! Beautiful post!

    Reply
  2. Caroline
    17 August 2011 at 10:01 pm (3 years ago)

    Your reasons are too funny…these looks great! I just finished reading the first Hunger Games book–SO good! I’ve heard the second book is the best–what did you think? i can’t wait to read the rest of the books. Sad, but cool concept/story.

    Reply
    • Aimee@clevermuffin
      17 August 2011 at 10:03 pm (3 years ago)

      I actually thought about you when I wrote this because I know you’re a Harry Potter fan too. The second book is as un-put-downable, but I’ll reserve judgement ’till I’ve read all three!

      Reply
  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    17 August 2011 at 10:37 pm (3 years ago)

    Clever indeed. I also avert my eyes during Grey’s Anatomy. Terrible. I love these cookies. I also love the post. I have to go the health food or a high end store to find the right kind of polenta.

    Reply
    • Aimee@clevermuffin
      19 August 2011 at 7:54 am (3 years ago)

      Hehe. Yea, I have to watch the show with someone next to me sometimes to tell me what’s going on. Is polenta tricky to come by the states?

      Reply
      • Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
        24 August 2011 at 3:43 am (3 years ago)

        Well it’s not something I see at my every day grocery, but it’s not terribly hard to get.

  4. missmichelann
    18 August 2011 at 12:12 am (3 years ago)

    Those look great! If you want another fun summer series, try the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlene Harris. They’re like redneck Anne Rice with a sense of humor.

    Reply
    • Aimee@clevermuffin
      19 August 2011 at 8:05 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you for the recommendation! I’ve just gone and had a look at it on Amazon and added it to my little list. With a description like ‘redneck Anne Rice’ how could I not?

      Reply
  5. patty
    18 August 2011 at 3:14 am (3 years ago)

    Oh these are pretty! I love the color and they look so tender stacked up in your photo;-)

    Reply
  6. Luv'n Spoonfuls
    18 August 2011 at 4:04 am (3 years ago)

    I love anything with cornmeal in it, and these look delish! Great photos too!

    Reply
  7. Holly
    18 August 2011 at 7:04 am (3 years ago)

    HAHa – love the post! Although can’t see pictures for some reason today?! I have mixed feelings on polenta…

    Reply
    • Aimee@clevermuffin
      19 August 2011 at 7:53 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Holly – I think WordPress was having a bit of a sad yesterday morning, I couldn’t see pics on other blogs either.

      Reply
  8. Ginger
    19 August 2011 at 4:44 am (3 years ago)

    What beautiful photos! You are a very funny girl too! Great post :)

    Reply
    • Aimee@clevermuffin
      19 August 2011 at 8:08 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Ginger! Glad you like, I was slightly concerned this one might go straight to the ‘hmm, she’s a bit odd’ pile. But it had to be done!

      Reply
  9. Barefeet In The Kitchen
    24 August 2011 at 3:59 pm (3 years ago)

    These look like a fun and different kind of cookie. I like the sound of the Hunger Games series. I just put it on hold at the library. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Reply
    • Aimee@clevermuffin
      24 August 2011 at 11:40 pm (3 years ago)

      Now I’ve finished the series I’m very torn… still very much worth the read but you’ll have to let me know what you think.

      Reply
  10. lkbro
    27 August 2011 at 2:09 am (3 years ago)

    Ohhh I’m going to have to try these polenta biscuits! Yum! Will you see the HG movie or just stick with the reading experience from the book?

    Reply
    • Aimee@clevermuffin
      27 August 2011 at 9:08 am (3 years ago)

      Oh, I’ll see the movie! I always find it interesting to see what they do with it, what they cut out, leave in etc.

      Reply

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  1. [...] all know how I fell about cornmeal (otherwise  known as polenta) from my post on lemon polenta cookies where I went a bit nuts over [...]

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