Like many bloggers, my inbox rapidly fills with press releases, some of which interest me and some do not. I joke about the never-ending blog backlog, but in all seriousness, I currently have 25 posts that I know I want to write and about 5 more that I am thinking about. Thankfully I still enjoy my blog, and the backlog is a challenge rather than a chore.
I do not write about every press release that I receive, but thought these polenta and Parma ham cakes sounded delicious. The recipe is Discover the Origin which is a campaign to promote and enhance knowledge of 5 European PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) products. I am hugely keen on preserving traditional products and have recently written about both Cornish pasties, and Cumberland sausages that have been protected in the same way. The Discover the Origin products are Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, Parma Ham, Burgundy, Port and Douro Valley Wines, I went to a fantastic tutored tasting of them last summer, and they recently sent me a recipe for some delicious sounding Parma ham and polenta cakes, ideal for something different to make for your mother this Sunday.
- 175 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 115 g instant polenta
- 75 g Parmigiano-Reggiano finely grated
- 200 ml milk
- 4 tbsp olive oil + extra for greasing
- 2 medium eggs
- 90 g Parma ham finely chopped
- 85 g sunblush tomatoes drained, finely chopped
- 300 ml crème fraiche
- 250 g baby plum tomatoes halved
- 1 small red onion finely chopped
- 1 large bunch basil torn
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C, Gas 5. Lightly grease 9 deep muffin wells.
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the polenta and 55g of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season well with freshly ground black pepper.
In a measuring jug mix together the milk, eggs, Parma ham and sunblush tomatoes.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dried taking care not to over mix.
Spoon the mixture evenly between the prepared muffin wells. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until golden. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano with the crème fraiche and set to one side. Toss all the basil salsa ingredients together and season with black pepper.
Allow the Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese polenta cakes to cool in the tin for 2 minutes.
Carefully, with a flat bladed knife remove from muffin wells.
Cut each cake whilst still warm in half on the diagonal. Fill each with a little of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cream.
Serve rustic style on a wooden board with the basil salsa. If desired, serve with extra Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings.