Deep Fried Polenta with a Spicy Tomato Relish

Deep Fried Polenta with Spicy Tomato Relish

Polenta Deep Fried Spicy Tomato RelishWith the first week of 2013 almost behind us, reflection is starting to wane and focus for 2013 is starting to settle.  At least that’s the case for me.  There is so much in 2012 that’s worth looking back for and so much I’m glad to walk away from.  2013 will be amazing.

As I’m getting older, I find myself thinking more and more about making a ‘bucket list’.  I’ve never had an official bucket list, per se, but I definitely have a few things I know I want to do at some point in my life.  Swim with dolphins, travel outside of the US (I’ve always wanted to see the Blue Footed Booby in person) and have a house in the country.  Those are the first three things that come to mind.

This week’s #SundaySupper is all about our bucket lists, but more specifically, our culinary bucket lists.  There aren’t too many things I’ve wanted to do that I haven’t.  Very little intimidates me in the kitchen.  Usually, when I avoid a particular task, it’s strictly a matter of laziness.  There are a few exceptions…

Cooking a live lobster

Making macaroons

Deep Fried Grits

Today, I am able to cross the grits off the list.  Back in September of 2011, we were at our favorite vacation restaurant and I decided to order something different.  To my utter delight, the gumbo I ordered was served with these triangle shaped deep fried grits.  Now, I’m a Southern girl, so I love my grits, but Oh M Gee.  These absolutely knocked my socks off.  How in the heck did they deep fry grits?!?  I’ve been wanting to try it ever since.

I finally worked up the nerve, jumped in head first and they came out amazingly awesome!

I added a spicy tomato relish for texture and a nice flavor contrast to the polenta.  I hope to make a delicious gumbo of my own to serve over top of these one day.

Make your own culinary bucket list!  What will you put on it?

Enjoy the recipes, then get in the kitchen and do something that challenges you!

Deep Fried Polenta
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 4
  • 1 Cup Uncooked Polenta
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ Teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ⅛ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ⅛ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Oil for Frying
  1. To Be Done Ahead of Time: Cook polenta according to package directions. Cool slightly and then pour into an 8 x 8 pan lined with wax paper. Cover and move to the refrigerator to cool completely. (This can be done the day before)
  2. Minutes Before Frying: Turn the completely cooled polenta out onto a cutting board. Cut into 8 squares or triangles. Place the polenta pieces, on the cutting board, into the freezer. Allow to stay in the freezer about 30 minutes, just long enough for the outside to firm up and allow for easy handling.
  3. Minutes Before Frying: Begin heating oil in a medium/medium-large deep sided skillet over medium-high heat. You want at least and inch of oil.
  4. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl. Add the paprika, salt, and peppers to the eggs. Mix well.
  5. Once the oil is hot, remove the polenta from the freezer.
  6. Taking one piece of polenta at a time, dip the polenta into the egg mixture and coat completely. Dredge the egg coated polenta in the panko and carefully place the polenta into the hot oil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium.
  8. Continue adding polenta to the pan, but be careful not to crowd the pan. You should have no more than 2-3 pieces in the pan at any given time.
  9. Each piece should be nice and brown on the bottom side within 2-3 minutes. Flip and allow the other side to cook to a golden brown.
  10. Once both sides have cooked, remove the polenta and place it on paper towels to drain.

Spicy Tomato Relish
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 4
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 Small Cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
  • ¼ Small Red Onion, diced
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ⅛ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  1. Combine spices and vinegar. Mix well.
  2. Pour over diced vegetables.
  3. Allow to sit 15-20 minutes before serving.
  4. Best served at room temperature.



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53 Responses to Deep Fried Polenta with a Spicy Tomato Relish

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  3. A restaurant near me serves their signature shrimp & grits over deep-fried grit cakes. Best shrimp & grits I’ve ever had!

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  10. Susan says:

    I’ve done 2 out of the 3 on your culinary bucket list. Go for the lobster first, much easier and the results come out faster! 🙂 As for these. Fried, triangle deliciousness!

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  13. Katie says:

    Oh boy – what a taste treat indeed! I would definitely want to have a slice of this polenta…sounds awesome!

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  18. This is a household favorite! Yours is beautiful!

  19. The southern part of me would really like to dive right through my computer and land myself in your kitchen to share these with you. They look absolutely fabulous Jamie and I’m definitely doing this.

  20. Oh my gosh, I want a plate of this so badly right now! I love polenta/grits/pone in all forms… and this one needs to be made in my kitchen.

  21. Chris Baccus says:

    Nicely done and still my favorite way to enjoy polenta.

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  23. Renee says:

    This southern gal would love to have some of those fried grits, um, polenta cakes. The spicy tomato topping is a bonus!

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  25. Tara says:

    That would be great with so many things, yummy!!

  26. sunithi says:

    This looks yummy & the sauce sounds even yummier ! Great job Jamie !

  27. I love polenta in every possible way and this is wonderful! The sauce is perfect with it. You should try it stuffed with cheese…

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  30. Liz says:

    Ooh, I need to put this on my bucket list, too…I’ve made polenta, but deep fried sounds amazing!!

  31. Oh my… I adore Polenta but have not had the pleasure of trying it fried. That must change now! Gorgeous recipe and photography!

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  34. Hezzi-D says:

    Oh fried polenta sounds delicious!

  35. I love polenta and spicy tomatoes – this looks wonderful!!

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  37. WOW! This is incredible. I want to try this now.

  38. Mmm, fried polenta. It looks scrumptious!

  39. The only way I’ve ever had polenta is deep fried. Your dish looks incredible – I can’t believe how beautifully crisp and golden they turned out! I’m way too intimidated to deep fry at home, especially since I live in a small apartment that will probably smell for days afterwards, but I think it’d be worth it to make this recipe.

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  41. Wow, I bet these are amazing. The live lobster thing – way too freaky and I don’t think I’ll do it again. But I must tackle macarons too.

  42. I am so excited to give this a try. I have polenta in my pantry and think it might make an appearance this week. 🙂

  43. Erin says:

    OMG! This looks amazing – I’m definitely trying it out sometime soon!!!

  44. Wow, deep fried polenta!! So inventive! love this!

  45. I love love love polenta but have always been unsuccessful at frying it. (I blame my fear of frying!) 2013 may be the year I revisit that idea! This looks amazing 🙂

  46. I love polenta, but I always make creamy polenta. This looks wonderful, and a great change. Wonderful job!

  47. I love polenta! This sounds so good!

  48. Sarah says:

    I’ve been meaning to make a tomato relish/jam lately too. Love the idea of serving it on fried polenta! Yummy!

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  52. Sung Marrotte says:

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