Crispy Fried Polenta!

The first step is to cook the polenta.  I use 4 cups of water to 1 cup of corn.  My favorite is Rustic Integrale Polenta from http://ansonmills.com  It is coarse with flecks of color and full of rich, corn flavor. I slowly add the corn while stirring to make certain it doesn’t clump and then cook it for about an hour.  I check the seasoning, adding salt if necessary, and a knob of grass-fed butter.  Then I pour it into a buttered half-sheet pan, cover it with plastic and put it in the fridge to set.  When I want to serve it, I take it out, cut it into wedges and fry it in a little olive oil in a cast iron skillet until it’s crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  It’s the perfect side with a roasted chicken and a fresh, green salad!

Afternoon Tea Week!

We couldn’t pass up Afternoon Tea Week! It rained (at last!) all day yesterday and was the perfect day for baking.  So, I baked cookies and scones.  I also made tea sandwiches.  There were ham ones, and cheese and tomato ones, and cucumber ones. So dainty! So delicious! We also had clotted cream and the strawberry jam I made this summer.  Perfection!

Today We Baked Croissants

I say “today” but it was a two day process.  We used the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.  Yesterday we mixed the dough and laminated it.  Today we formed the croissants and let them rise and then we baked them.  They are delicious, all soft inside and flaky on the outside.  I will say that making pastry involving cold butter is a bit dicey in a house with no air conditioning in June.  I would like to make them again and tinker with the shape a bit but I think I’ll wait until fall.