Polenta Chips

Polenta Chips

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I tried a new recipe for dinner last night – Polenta Chips!  Ok, so it’s not a new recipe – every trendy restaurant and pub is making them these days – but I haven’t made them before, not being a polenta fan usually ( I think I just have had some so-so ones in the past).  Anyway, I am always looking for something I can have other than chips as I am not supposed to have a lot of potato (including sweet potato – ahh! So unfair!) because of my renal issues.  I don’t have chips very often, obviously, but it would be nice to have another alternative that is tasty and not too unhealthy.

I found this recipe in a free magazine (you know the ones you get at the supermarket when you’re at the checkout?) and thought I would give it a go.  Seemed simple enough and didn’t have any difficult-to-get ingredients.  The results were delicious and moreish and I will definitely make them again.  In fact, I have a gathering at my house in a couple of weeks (a video night with friends), so I might make these again then.  Share the love! 🙂 Basic Polenta Chips (serves 4 as a side dish)

2 cups stock (I used vegetable)
1 Cup instant polenta
20g butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan

Method : Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan then add polenta, stirring briskly to prevent lumps.  Take off the heat, add butter and cheese – stir until smooth.  Mixture will thicken and be quite firm.  Turn out into a 20cm square baking pan lined with baking paper.  Smooth top down to make it nice and even and flat if possible.  Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

When cold and firm, cut polenta into “chips”.  Season with salt and pepper if you like (the stock I used had plenty of flavour so I didn’t need any extra seasoning). Fry in a pan with a little oil until golden on all sides.  Serve!

I don’t fry anything if I can help it so I actually did mine in the oven – baked at about 200 c for 40 minutes or so – which of course takes longer but gives a nice crispy finish and less guilt ha ha.

Give them a go – really easy, very delicious and not expensive either.  Next time I am going to add some herbs and maybe a little paprika or chilli to the basic mixture, just to add some extra flavour and oomph.  But you can dress them up or down in any way you like 🙂

PS As per usual, I took bad photos in the equally bad light of the kitchen.  This one is the best of the bunch.

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A Happy Weekend

A Happy Weekend

How long have I been away? I feel like I haven’t written for months but it has only been 4 weeks, which, in blogging world terms, is an eternity.  Apologies.  No excuses – well actually, my computer and internet have been behaving abominably and I have had limited access so I guess I do have a bit of an excuse.  Also I have been dog tired and just not feeling the bloggy vibe.  I had blood tests recently and everything looked ok – kidney basically behaving plus a thyroid test showed that was all hunky-dory too.  My iron and haemoglobin are both well above normal (might be why I am tired – sometimes having an increase in either one can make you as tired as not having enough apparently) but I think work and personal stuff has been getting me down so I always end up feeling physically unwell, just so my body can force me to take time out and chill.  I have a bit of a “negative energy” person around me at the moment and I am finding it very draining.

Anyway, this weekend has been a pretty good one.  Friday evening I went walking my my lovely work-mate SR.  We walked her two pooches, Sam and Chloe (look at them – so adorable!) and then came back and made yummy pizzas (because we had, after all, exercised!).  They were delicious.  SR makes her own bases (more talented than I am obviously – I just use pitta bread!) and had enough to have leftovers for the next day.  Yum!

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On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum – just groceries (boring – except we both bought a pretty little white orchid each) and then went to a local garden show.  Less boring!  I bought a box-load of succulents including an aloe, a briar rose and some weird little ones – stone plants and baby toes.  My Mum bought some nice ferns and an African Violet. I contained myself and didn’t buy too many as I have limited space on my porch and it is already getting a bit crowded there!

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Orchid

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Stone Plant

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Baby Toes

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Briar Rose

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Aloe

Saturday night was awesome.  My Mum, cousin and I went to see “An Evening on the Green” featuring Sting and Paul Simon.  Love!  They are two of my favourites and worth every penny spent on the tickets.  I really like outdoor concerts – they are so much nicer (although we were very chilly, even under a bundle of blankies!) and it’s glorious to be under the stars on a clear night.  The music was fabulous – they played a lot of my favourites (singing their own songs as well as duetting on each other’s) and hearing Sting sing Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “America” was amazing.  People were dancing (always entertaining to watch) and singing along and it was so enjoyable.   They are playing again tonight and I have half a mind to go down to the foreshore (it was held right near the water, so near to my house I can walk there in less than 10 minutes) and just sit outside the official concert zone and listen for free 🙂

This morning I had to take Mum home as she had stayed overnight at my place.  On the way to her house we stumbled upon a Vintage Market being held in a nearby RSL Hall.  Don’t you love it when you just happen upon something like that, completely by accident?  Inside were all kinds of treasures, everything from vintage china, coins and lace to candles, soaps and jewellery – all at very reasonable prices. I nearly bought a teapot (for only $5 – bargain!) but I couldn’t make my mind up so I left it.  It was nice to have a little wander about and I may even speak to the organisers about having a stall there myself in the near future.

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The rest of the day was spent doing laundry (ugh!) and making cards (yay!).  I had some patterned papers that I had never been able to do anything with – you know sometimes when a fabric or paper seems like a good idea in the shop, and then you get it home and you can’t make it work with anything?  Yeah, that!  So I’ve had this paper with Babushkas and polka dots, birds and pastel patterns on it for years, just sitting there taking up room.  Today I just spotted it and suddenly became determined to put it to use.  I made a handful of simple cards, just embellished with a few dots of liquid pearls or buttons – nothing fancy.  I think they’re kinda cute – at least I made something.

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Right now I am waiting on a batch of polenta chips I made to have with my dinner.  I’ve never made them before and I’m not usually a huge fan of polenta, but I wanted to give these a go as they seemed easy enough and something I could have instead of chips (which I hardly ever have anyway as I am not supposed to have a lot of potato).  They’re in the oven now so I had better go and check them – if they turn out ok I will post the recipe (if I manage to get a photo before I eat them all!).

Hope you are all well and enjoying 2015 – it’s going so quickly and I fear it will be another year that just rushes by.
Stay happy and take care 🙂 x