Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I love corn. I love corn on the cob, cornbread, corn pudding and I certainly love a coarsely ground cornmeal, cooked for at least thirty minutes while liquid is slowly introduced, turning the whole mixture into what is known as polenta.
This love of corn is why I get excited anytime I see a recipe that resembles cornbread or calls for some kind of ground corn product. It’s why I turned my mother’s cornbread recipe into madeleines so I could snack on them at tea time, or anytime really. It’s also why these little corn cakes caught my eye in a recent Donna Hay Magazine.
They’re quite simple really. An instant polenta mixture is seasoned with sage and poured into waiting muffin tins lined with prosciutto. The most complicated part of this recipe was locating instant polenta. If you live in Southern California let me save you the trouble of going to the four grocery stores that I visited during my search (yes I said four and yes I am aware that I have possibly the most patient boyfriend a girl could ask for). Gelson’s in Marina del Rey carried the instant variety and I’m willing to bet that their other locations do to.
If you can’t find instant polenta, do not try to substitute regular polenta here as it will completely throw off the cooking times. If you don’t feel like putting in the effort to find the instant variety than try what I am going to do next time – whip up a batch of my mother’s cornbread and use it to fill the prosciutto-lined muffin tins. I can’t make any promises about the state of the prosciutto after a longer cooking time, but I love my mother’s recipe so much that I’m willing to give it a try.
Prosciutto Corn Cakes
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine
1 cup of instant polenta
1/2 cup of flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
2 T of chopped sage + 12 sage leaves
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
12 slices of prosciutto
Preheat the oven to 350*
Place the polenta, flour, baking powder, baking soda, chopped sage, cream and eggs in a bowl and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Place extra sage in the bases of 12 lightly greased 1/2 cup capacity muffin tins. Line each tin with prosciutto and fill with polenta mixture. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked. Let cool slightly before serving.