Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Egg & Chips?!?!

Bastoncini di Polenta & Parmigiano, con Peperone & Uovo
Parmesan Polenta Fries with Peppers & Egg

Indeed, "egg & chips" is one of "the" British standards- maybe not fine dining, but cheap and cheerful and accessible to young and old, rich or poor. Kids love it's simplicity and many a truck driver will have tucked-in to it many a time at many a motorway service station. And of course being one of 9 children, it was not an uncommon meal for me and my siblings when I was growing up in England...

...but now that I am grown-up, more in-touch with my roots and yet still occasionally a little homesick for Jolly Old England, I tend to get things confused a little at times. I guess it is the Brit-talian influences that make me do things like this... creating fries from Parmesan and nutmeg infused polenta and combining them with egg and some pan-roasted peppers- a fun twist on my childhood memories and a yummy supper to boot!

If simple food tastes simply good- then why mess with it? This whole idea was a little "tongue-in-cheek" I suppose and I did want to provoke people a little with it. But you know what folks? Food really doesn't need to be pretentious to be good! 

The polenta was boiled up with plenty of parmesan and seasoned with nutmeg, so it was already wonderfully infused with flavor. Especially the nutmeg made it already a great combination to go with egg... perfect! So all I needed to do this evening was to cut it into sticks and to fry it, gently at first, in just a very small amount of olive oil. I am always stingy with the oil when I cook as you know, but in this case it is very important, as the oil will otherwise be absorbed by the polenta, the polenta will then become soft, remain soft- and probably fall to pieces on you! The thing to do is to just let it lie and sizzle away... 2-3 minutes before gently flipping each stick over, so that it does get a chance to dehydrate, warm up indeed become lightly crispy and brown! This will take a while and you will need to be patient... but that's ok- because in the meantime you can caramelize a little pepper and fry up that egg!

For the pepper, I used a small, sweet one, added salt, pepper, garlic and a little sugar to the pan, a light drizzle of olive oil- 3-4 minutes later I added a handful of onion greens and 2 minutes after that it was just perfect. As was my simple fried egg. And some fresh parsley that I chopped and a little bit of Parmesan that I grated to add at the end. Simple, tasty and fun food and a great way to use up left-over polenta... What's not to like? 

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