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the goods

you will need:

500g / 20 oz bag instant polenta

2 litres / 4 1/4 pints water

1/4 cup milk
1 stock cube, preferably porcini


olive oil

parmesan cheese


you will need:

  • large saucepan
  • baking dish

time: 10 minutes active

1 hr total





Polenta Hush Puppies

These are basically a 'cashed up' 'tater tot.

Hush Puppies are fried corn bread balls and they are pretty much unheard of above the Mason- Dixon line; you'll find them on menus in Georgia or Carolina.

I've never had a good one; the cornbread is always dry and stale tasting.

Polenta, on the other hand, is inherently moist and it crisps up beautifully in the oven. These are lighter and lovelier than their Southern name sake.

By making a batch of instant polenta and letting it set (or, easier still, buy your polenta ready made from the supermarket) and setting to it with a melon baller, you can make hush-puppy shaped balls. Just spray them with some olive oil cooking spray and grate some parmesan cheese over them...maybe a dusting of paprika...then bake them in a hot oven and you've got these crispy, cheesy balls that are sensational with just about anything.

Toss them in salads.

Serve them with grilled meat or sea food.

Put down a platter with a dipping sauce to appease the vegetarians at a dinner party.

Or make yourself a bowl and settle down with a glass of wine and some guilty tv.


bring the water to the boil, add the stock cube and a teaspoon of salt then slowly pour in the polenta grains. Cut a corner off the top of the packet and just let it trickle into the water whilst you give it a good stir.

3 mins later, add about 1/4 cup of milk and stir to combine, Finally run a bottle of olive oil around the inside of the saucepan and drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of oil. Stir to incorporate and pour the polenta into a lightly oiled baking dish. Allow to cool.

use a melon baller to scoop balls of polenta out and place them on a baking sheet lined with foil
shave some parmesan cheese over the balls
dust lightly with a smoky paprika
spray with some olive oil cooking spray and give the tray a shake to make sure the balls are coated.
bake  in a hot oven (425f / 200c) for about 15 minutes until browned and crisp.