Matzo Polenta Crisps
I like to tweak recipes. So sometime last year as I was making polenta — or what my grandma called mamaliga — I wondered whether I could adapt the recipe using matzo meal instead of corn meal and thus be able to serve it at Passover.
It was awful. Like some cooked cereal I once served my daughter Gillian and she said it tasted like a box.
So I fried some onions, celery and mushrooms until they were golden brown, mixed them into the matzo-meal mamaliga and let it chill inside a loaf pan. When it was cold, I cut the loaf into slices and fried the slices until they were hot and crispy.
Who says you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear?
Now these were absolutely delicious. And are a terrific side dish during Passover.
Matzo Meal “Polenta” Crisps
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon choped fresh mixed herbs such as dill, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup water
1 cup matzo meal
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese. optional
vegetable oil and/or butter for frhing
Lightly grease a 9”x5”x3” loaf pan. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the mushrooms, parsley and herbs and and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated from the pan. Set aside to cool slightly. Bring the stock and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Whisk constantly as you gradually add the matzo meal and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for another 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is very thick. Stir in the vegetable mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the cheese of used. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Refrigerate until cold, at least one hour. Unmold the loaf onto a cutting board and cut into 3/4-inch slices. Heat the olive oil and/or butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook the s,ices a few at a time, for 2-4 minutes per side, or until crispy. Makes 6-8 servings