Fried Polenta Cubes

I buy my polenta from Anson Mills, who just makes some of the loveliest corn products ever. Because their products tend to be heartier than the stuff I can get at the store, I follow their directions for how to make the polenta, grits, etc. So the first part (the basic "make the polenta" part of this recipe is basically theirs - if you buy a different brand, make it the way you're used to). Enjoy!

1 cup polenta
4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 teaspoons finely grated colby-jack cheese

"Brush or spray an 8-inch square baking dish with oil and set aside. Place the polenta and water in a heavy-bottomed 2 1/2-quart saucepan (preferably one with fluted sides), and stir to combine. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the first starch takes hold, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are soft and hold their shape on a spoon, about an hour. Whisk in salt, pepper, butter, and Parmesan. Turn the polenta into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a greased offset spatula or a spoon. Cover and refrigerate until completely cold." Or, just make your polenta however you normally make your polenta.

Once it's completely cold, cut it into 16 squares. Heat a cast iron pan for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add in the olive oil and your polenta squares. Cook 4 minutes, then turn. Cook another 4 minutes. Turn again, sprinkle each piece with half a teaspoon of cheese, then cover and cook another 2 minutes. Serves 4 as a side dish, or 2 as a main course.


  1. This looks really good. Cheese adds a lot to polenta. I love your photo.

  2. Hi Allie

    Thanks for the recipe. Polenta is one of the things I never attempted for some reason. I think I will soon.

  3. Mary,

    I love cheese on polenta. It's like the perfect combination, don't you think?


    Polenta is awesome. I don't like it as much in soft, "hot cereal" form, but I love it in cubes, fried or broiled. It's a great snack food.

  4. I used to occasionally buy plain polenta with nothing but the corn, salt, and water. I'd cut it into slices and grill it for breakfast. It was wonderful with warm maple syrup.

  5. Chile,

    Thanks for the idea - I'll try it w/ maple sometime soon!


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