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Recipes: Cornmeal-Crusted Walleye, Cornmeal Crust, Polenta, Polenta Pound Cake and Corn Muffins

  • April 3, 2013 - 1:53 PM

Cornmeal-Crusted Walleye √

Serves 4.

This light coating works nicely for any fish, including trout. It’s especially good for a shore lunch with a fresh catch cooked right on the beach.

• 4 whitefish fillets, about 4 to 6 oz. each, rinsed and patted dry

• 1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

• 1/2 c. cornmeal

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Dash of cayenne pepper

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

• Chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges

Directions

Dip the fillets in the lemon juice and set aside. Mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper and cayenne and spread out on a plate. Dust the fish with the seasoned cornmeal.

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the fish and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and fry until golden brown, 3 minutes. Serve immediately with chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 332 Fat 20 g Sodium 110 mg

Carbohydrates 15 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 36 mg

Protein 23 g Cholesterol 83 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 3 lean meat, 2 fat.

Cornmeal Crust √

Makes one 9-inch pie crust.

Note: This crust is delicious and sturdy, great for any fruit pie. Use it for a 9-inch tart or pie tin or shape it into a free-form country tart.

• 1/2 c. cornmeal

• 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough

• 1 tbsp. sugar

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 2 to 4 tbsp. milk

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with two knives or your fingers to the consistency of small peas. Stir in enough milk so that the mixture comes together. Shape it into a ball with your hands. Cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough slowly and evenly. Gently lift it into a tart or pie tin and press to cover the bottom and edges. Or place the crust on a lightly greased baking sheet to create a free-form crust.

Nutrition information per serving of 8:

Calories 89 Fat 3 g Sodium 30 mg

Carbohydrates 14 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 7 mg

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 8 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, ½ fat.

Polenta Pound Cake with Orange and Dried Cranberries √

Makes a 5- by 9-inch loaf.

Note: This is a rich tasting, surprisingly light cake, wonderful with morning coffee or afternoon tea. Top it with berry sauce and whipped cream for dessert.

• Oil or butter for greasing the cake pan

• 1 c. all-purpose flour

• 1 c. cornmeal

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• Generous pinch salt

• 1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1 c. sugar

• 5 eggs, separated

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 tbsp. grated orange rind

• 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice

• 1/4 c. dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 5- x 9-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Beat in the vanilla, orange rind and orange juice and dried cranberries. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Gently fold the egg whites into the dough using a spatula until combined. Scoop into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes up clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a rack. Remove the pan, then turn the cake right side up and cool before slicing.

Nutrition information per serving of 12:

Calories 250 Fat 10 g Sodium 95 mg

Carbohydrates 35 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 39 mg

Protein 5 g Cholesterol 98 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1½ other carb, 2 fat.

Polenta √

Serves 4 to 6.

Though Italian, polenta is simply good-old American cornmeal mush. Forget what you’ve read or heard about polenta’s difficulty; it is ridiculously easy to make. It does, however, require time to fully cook, but you don’t have to be a slave to the stove. Once you’ve whisked in the cornmeal so that it’s fully absorbed, you can leave it to bubble away and return to stir every 10 minutes or so. Chef Lori Valenziano of Lucia’s Restaurant makes a super creamy polenta using whole milk instead of water. Serve polenta with shredded cheese, tomato sauce, braised meat or vegetables. Note: For a less rich polenta, use water instead of milk.

• 4 c. milk, see Note

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 c. cornmeal

• 2 tsp. butter, or more to taste

• 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, or more to taste

Directions

Put the milk and salt into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cornmeal in a slow steady stream. When the cornmeal is fully absorbed, allow it to simmer, stirring occasionally, adding a little water if it is getting too dry, and cook until it is stiff enough that a spoon can stand up straight in the pot and the flavor is more like sweet corn, at least 50 minutes. Swirl in the butter and serve with the shredded Parmesan cheese.

Uses for leftover polenta:

For breakfast: Warm the leftover polenta on the stove or in the microwave and top with honey or maple syrup and dried fruit.

For sautéed polenta: Spread leftover polenta onto a lightly greased baking sheet and chill until firm. Cut into squares and sauté in a little olive oil or melted butter over medium-high heat until light browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. It will be crusty outside and creamy within.

For grilled polenta: Spread leftover polenta onto a lightly greased baking sheet and chill until firm. Cut into squares. Brush both sides lightly with melted butter or olive oil and grill or broil on both sides until nicely browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. It should be slightly charred on the outside and creamy within.

Nutrition information per serving of 6:

Calories 203 Fat 9 g Sodium 560 mg

Carbohydrates 24 g Saturated fat 5 g Calcium 240 mg

Protein 8 g Cholesterol 23 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ milk, 1 bread/starch, 2 fat.

Corn Muffins √

Makes 12 muffins.

Note: Heat the buttered muffin tins before spooning in the batter to help develop a nice crunchy crust. For sweeter muffins, increase the quantity of sugar to 1/2 cup.

• 1 c. cornmeal

• 1 c. all-purpose flour

• 1/4 c. sugar, see Note

• 1 tbsp. baking powder

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1 c. buttermilk

• 1 large egg

• 1/3 c. (5 1/2 tbsp.) butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease or butter a 12-cup muffin tin. Preheat the greased muffin tin for a crunchy crust.

Sift the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Add the buttermilk, egg and butter and stir with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough.

If preheating the muffin tins, remove from the oven. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling about two-thirds full. Bake until the centers of the muffins feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes up clean. Watch that they don’t become too brown. Remove from the oven, cool 5 minutes before turning from the muffin tin, and serve warm.

Variations:

To prepare cornbread: Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9-inch pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until the edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool 5 minutes before cutting into squares. You also can use mini-loaf pans or larger muffin tins and adjust the baking time accordingly.

Nutrition information per regular-size muffin:

Calories 150 Fat 6 g Sodium 246 mg

Carbohydrates 21 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 97 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 30 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ bread/starch, 1 fat.

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