It’s the most wonderful time of the year! You may think that I’m referring to Christmas, but then you’d be wrong. It’s Halloween, of course! JT and I traditionally have a pumpkin carving contest, and this year is no different. We scour the net for unusual pumpkin patterns and when we find one we get down to the dirty job of carving. Carving is made easier with the right tools, but then again isn’t everything? I bought a set of pumpkin carving tools at an end of season sale last year and wish I had bought two sets! So in light of the grand tradition, I’m going to ask you to vote on your favourite pumpkin! May the best pumpkin win!
We were craving a unique hors d’œuvres so I remade a traditional polenta recipe into a delightful orange snack: polenta “fries”! The orange is strictly from the sharp cheddar. And the best part is that you can easily freeze these babies for those lovely drop-ins during the holiday season.
Cheddar Polenta “Fries”
- 1 cup fine cornmeal
- 2 cups stock (vegetable, beef or chicken)
- 150 g grated old cheddar cheese
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- Pinch of chili flakes
- 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
- Bring stock to a boil and add the smoked paprika and chili flakes.
- Slowly add the cornmeal, whisking quickly as you add it.
- Add the grated cheese and mix well.
- Turn heat right down to low and cook for 10-15 minutes until it no longer feels as hard grain.
- Turn into a parchment lined square Pan about 22 cm x 22 cm or 9″ x 9″ and press down evenly and firmly. Allow to cool.
- Cut into 1cm or 1/2″ wide “fries” about 5 cm or 3″ long. Fry each side until golden in a light oil.
- Serve warm with marinara sauce or salsa.
Other serving suggestions:
- Serve with soup instead of crackers.
- Cut into small rounds and serve instead of rice or potatoes with a gravies meat.
- Cut into small rounds and serve as ‘crackers’ topping with a cold cut or a pickle round!