Of course, Little Lace Box will also be highlighting products for those of us who are kitchen-ware enthused. Which is why I created this lovely little recipe for Little Lace Box. A delightful and delicious nibble that’s almost fuss free. Displays beautifully on your Hors D’oeuvres table, sitting in those gorgeous new serving dishes you’ve been wanting to use. Or maybe a new serving board that’s become quite popular these days.
Crispy Polenta Bites with Crème Fraiche, Balsamic Glaze and Fresh Basil
1 cup quick cook polenta
1/4 grated parmesan
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup crème Fraiche or sour cream (crème Fraiche is a French sour cream, usually a bit thicker than our sour cream here in the states)
1/2 cup good quality aged balsamic vinegar
Handful of fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the polenta to package directions. Typically the brand I use is one cup polenta to three cups liquid. I like to use an herbed vegetable broth for this recipe. But half milk and water is also nice. Gives it a creamier texture. Just before the polenta is thickened add the 1/4 cup grated parmesan to the polenta. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Oil or butter a medium size baking dish, 8×11 or 9×13 work well. Pour the warm polenta into the baking dish and smooth the top. Let it cool completely. If I’m making this for a dinner party I’ll prepare the polenta and refrigerate overnight and then finish the recipe before serving.
Once the polenta has cooled, pop it out of the baking dish onto a cutting board or clean surface. Using a small round or square cutter, cut bites out of the polenta. I like these “bite sized” so a biscuit cutter is usually to big. Once you’ve cut out as many small bites as you can, trim up the remaining polenta for test bites.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, pan sear both sides of each polenta bite. Drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet or plate.
In a small sauce pan heat the balsamic vinegar over low to medium heat and let it reduce by half, becoming thicker and more of a glaze. I highly recommend pulling out the good balsamic vinegar for this recipe. On occasion I can find a bottle of really good aged balsamic glaze that doesn’t have to be heated. It’s already reduced. I’ve found this at a few specialty markets, natural markets and Whole Foods.
Next, take the handful of fresh basil, stacking each leaf one on top of the other and roll into a cigar. Slice the ends into what is called chiffonade. I’ve included some photos at the bottom of the recipe.
Place each bite on a platter or serving board. Dollop or pipe crème Fraiche onto each bite. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and garnish with the basil chiffonade. A sprinkling of sea salt on each bit is also lovely.