Cheesy baked polenta chips

Cheesy baked Polenta chips @healthyfoodiebaby

My daughter is mad about cheese. I don’t mind giving it to her occasionally but as it is has a high salt content I prefer not to give it to her all the time!

I have enjoyed cooking with polenta for a while. I like using the fast cook grain rather than the ready made version. It’s delicious with loads of Parmesan but also with some melted Taleggio cheese. I find it makes a change from mashed potato and goes great with any meat.

My daughter has eaten polenta as porridge before but I found it really messy, it went everywhere so I thought I would try again with some ‘cheesy polenta chips’. They were a great success, easy to eat as finger food and very tasty. It also satisfies her cravings for cheese whilst providing her with all the nutritional benefits of cornmeal.

For this recipe I am using my daughter’s favourite cheddar cheese but you could easily substitute with Parmesan. Just make sure you don’t choose a cheese with a really high salt content for small babies (check this matrix and my links below)

Cheesy baked Polenta chips @ healthyfoodiebaby2

Cheesy baked polenta chips

Serves 2 adults and 1 toddler as a side dish

Preparation: 10 min | Chill: ½h minimum | Cooking time: 20 min

Ingredients:

100g fast-cook polenta

500ml low salt chicken or vegetable stock (I use heinz)

50g cheddar cheese, finely grated

olive oil or clarified butter

Method:

Put the stock in a small pan over medium heat and pour in the polenta gradually whilst whisking. Continue to whisk regularly to avoid it going lumpy and bring slowly to a boil.

The mixture will thicken and start to bubble. Depending on the polenta you are using it will take 2-5 minutes to reach a thick consistency.

Stir in the cheese and take off the heat.

Line a rectangular dish or a large plate with cling film and using a spatula pour the polenta to create a cake about 1.5cm thick.

Cover in cling film and chill in a refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour, or overnight.

Preheat the oven at 200°C.

Once it has cooled cut the polenta in chips and place on a baking tray with baking parchment.

Brush each chip on all sides with a bit of clarified butter or olive oil. I find an olive oil spray works really well too.

Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes until golden and crispy. (Give them 10 minutes on each side)

Season with salt for adults.

Best served warm.

Links:

Polenta:

http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2009/07/16/meet-this-grain-polenta/

http://www.naturalhealth365.com/tag/polenta-health-benefits

Salt content in cheese:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/nov/29/how-choose-healthier-cheese

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/interactive/2012/nov/29/cheese-salt-fat-matrix

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20524931

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2312471/Tesco-brings-low-salt-cheddar-cheese–passes-FEMAIL-taste-test.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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