Please Pass the Recipe

from one generation to the next

Crunchy Polenta, Caponata, Poached Egg


Having a retiree in the house is a challenge at lunch time. There are only so many cheese toasties a man will eat, so when preparing dinner I try to think ahead and cook extras to transform into a delicious lunch.

Soft polenta and Sicilian Caponata are my go to dinner time accompaniments for simply grilled meats purely and simply because I know that the next day’s lunch the will require no thought and next to no effort.

I cook enough vegetables and polenta to satisfy a family of four then when serving dinner I set aside half the polenta in an oiled shallow straight sided container to chill overnight. I also reserve half the caponata which like any braised dish will mature in the fridge.

About 15 minutes before lunchtime I cut the polenta in blocks and shallow fry them in olive oil until a golden crunchy crust forms.  The caponata I reheat in a small pan on the stove top, which just leaves the eggs to poach or boil, depending on their age.

Crunchy fried polenta and sweet and sour caponata topped with a soft poached egg is a feast for the eyes and the belly, one of those dishes that has an elusive moorish quality that you wish would never end. This is leftovers fit for a king!

Crunchy Fried Polenta

Cook the polenta according to the manufacturers instructions but here are some general guidelines

  • 1/2 cup dry polenta will swell to serve 2 generously
  • Cook the polenta in well seasoned stock, not water
  • Use triple the volume of well seasoned stock to dry polenta for a good consistency
  • Whisk the dry polenta into the stock to avoid lumpiness then switch to a wooden spoon for stirring
  • Stir 30g butter into the polenta at the end of cooking time for improved flavour and mouthfeel.
  • Grated parmesan can be added at this point too as a delicious option.
  • Pour the polenta into the mould while hot. Once it cools it sets.
  • Once cold the polenta will cut easily
  • When frying polenta in olive oil allow a crisp crust to form before turning or else it will stick to the pan.
  • Drain the hot fried polenta thoroughly on paper towel before serving

Sicilian Caponata

You’ll find the recipe here

Poached Eggs my way without gadgets or plastic wrap

  • It’s important that the eggs are very fresh
  • Poach a maximum of four eggs in a pan at one time. It’s too difficult to keep track of the timing of each individual egg otherwise
  • Change the poaching water between batches

Crack each egg into a cup.

Fill a wide deep pan to the depth of 10cm with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar, then bring the water to the boil.

Create a whirlpool in the pan by stirring rapidly with a large spoon, drop the eggs into the whirlpool one at a time then reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. A perfectly poached egg will take about 3 minutes, depending on the temperature of the egg when you add it to the water and how quickly your cooker reheats the water. Do not to let the water boil again.

When the egg is cooked, the egg white will look opaque but the yolk area will still be wobbly.

Remove the egg with a slotted spoon onto paper towel to drain then serve.

 

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

27 comments on “Crunchy Polenta, Caponata, Poached Egg

  1. thehungrymum
    June 23, 2015

    please arrange delivery of a bowl or 5 of this to my house immediately #pleaseAndThankYou

    Like

  2. StefanGourmet
    June 11, 2015

    Nice combination. I only like polenta when it’s fried anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Francesca
    June 11, 2015

    Oh wow, Sandra! I have never thought of combining polenta with caponata. Such an interesting match!

    Like

  4. chef mimi
    June 11, 2015

    So smart! Are you “retired” as well?

    Like

  5. Fae's Twist & Tango
    June 10, 2015

    Once, I made polenta and it was a disaster. I will pin this to make sure I will follow your tips. Very delectable looking lunch!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 10, 2015

      Thanks Fae. Polenta seems to confound some cooks, hopefully my tips will help someone!

      Like

  6. lapetitepaniere
    June 10, 2015

    Your lunch looks irresistible, Sandra! 🙂 Thank you for the fantastic instructions!

    Like

  7. Eha
    June 10, 2015

    I used to make ratatouille as often as you made caponata and ‘graduated’ to the moreishness of the latter! Actually did not realize it was a Sicilian dish: just thought of it as Italian ‘vegetable stew’! Lovely ‘leftovers’ that really aren’t 🙂 !!

    Like

  8. Gather and Graze
    June 10, 2015

    I don’t think I’ve seen better looking left-overs Sandra! Sounds absolutely wonderful and love your tips for both perfect polenta and poached eggs.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 10, 2015

      Both poached eggs and polenta seem troublesome to some goods, o

      Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 10, 2015

      Sorry, trigger finger… that should read to “some cooks and one small tip may be the difference between success and failure.”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. MamaD1xx4xy
    June 9, 2015

    What a delicious lunch. I love crispy polenta! I try to plan leftovers that my husband can pack to take to work for lunch. Doesn’t always work though, sometimes he is on his own coming up with something!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 9, 2015

      Not every lunchtime is well planned in our house either, that’s life..

      Like

  10. cheergerm
    June 9, 2015

    Whilst I am not retired, I was wondering if there was room for one more? Polenta and egg is a divine match and with the caponata? Hello Mrs R!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 9, 2015

      No discrimination at my table Cheery, you’d be most welcome! Imagine the conversation….

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I second Francesca’s suggestion, except it might take me a bit longer to get to your house for lunch. I also like having leftovers around to reconstitute into yummy lunches. Crunchy polenta is our favourite way of making it. And, what can I say…there is nothing better than a good Sicilian caponata.

    Like

  12. Leah
    June 9, 2015

    Yum! Remember us having a variation of this as a kid and loved it!!! Xx

    Like

  13. Francesca
    June 9, 2015

    I’m retired so I’m coming to eat at your place. Please make this!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: