I've seen on various cooking shows where they use polenta and fry it or grill it and serve it with various toppings or garnishes, so I thought I would try it out. I've never made polenta so this was another new ingredient for me as well as another good example of me 'winging it.' I like to think that I have good ideas to make various dishes, but I might just have to come to terms with the fact that I'm a cook and not a chef. I can follow the directions, but not really sure if I can make them up. Its kind of like paint by number... I can fill in the appropriate spaces with color, but I can't make my own painting.
Hence, we have the polenta experiment. My plan, which was actually executed, was to grab a 'tube' of polenta, slice, fry, top with cheese and sauce. So I purchased the polenta tube (pre-cooked) pictured below, but did not realize until after I had brought it home and was slicing it open that it was 'flavored' and not just straight up polenta.
So I did as planned. I sliced, fried in a little olive oil, plated, topped with some shredded mozzarella and some jarred pizza sauce and finished it off with some fresh basil pieces. Sounds kick ass, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, sun dried tomato & garlic flavored polenta is not as awesome as it sounds. This might have worked if it was plain polenta, but with the flavored kind, it was not so great. Don't get me wrong, I ate it and I kind of liked it. Without the toppings, the polenta was horrible and I would have to say that this was the first time that I had ever seen my husband spit out the food that I had cooked. Yup, spit it right out. Once I put the sauce and the cheese on top, and really when I kicked it up with the basil, it turned out not so bad. I ate it for dinner and then took the left-overs for lunch the following day (not waste!!). Dan wouldn't touch it; would not even try it for a second time with the toppings.
Looks nice, huh? To quantify this a few other ways: I didn't hate it. I won't make it again with this flavored polenta. If I ordered it at a restaurant I probably would have sent it back and ordered something else. So, the polenta experiment.. fail. Not sure how long it will take us to try it again.