Saturday, June 17, 2006

Orange and Polenta Biscuits

Orange Polenta Biscuits

There are certain ingredients out there that I possess a certain amount of trepidation towards, sometimes because they just utterly intimidate me, and most times because I have had a bad experience with them. As some of you may know I am rather terrified of yeast; not so its actual appearance, but just the thought of working with it conjures up all the former yeast-baking blunders that have occurred in my kitchen.

The same goes for
polenta. I love the look and feel of polenta, its sunny yellow colour and the way the small grains delicately course through your fingers when you pick up a handful. However, I have distanced myself from this wonderful ingredient for fear that another recipe involving it will fail. After already two failed attempts I was ready to relinquish all my culinary self-worth to its cruel clutches.

After effectively avoiding polenta at all costs, I was prepared to give it another chance. Thus far, almost all cooking I have attempted have had some measure of success. With the exception of polenta, where it appeared every attempt was thwarted by some unseen kitchen voodoo of some sort that would render my polenta hard and devoid of taste.

Well for whatever reason, the polenta curse is broken; I have found the polenta recipe. Needless to say it didn’t involved standing over the stove vigilantly stirring the polenta until it reached the perfect consistency. The recipe is for Orange and Polenta Biscuits from
Jamie Oliver’s, The Return of The Naked Chef. I cannot express in words how divinely beautiful the batter smelt. The combination of orange zest, butter and sugar created an intoxicating citrus bouquet. When the biscuits came out, they were perfect mounds of tangy crunchiness. The edges were a crisp golden brown and I had to stop myself from grabbing a handful and shoving them into my mouth.

It was without doubt, different to any other biscuit I have tasted and without the inclusion of polenta it would not have its unique taste and texture. The polenta gave the biscuits that extra crunch while the orange zest gave a flavourful tang in your palate.

A hundred and ten mouth-watering biscuits later, I think it is fair to announce that the polenta curse is now officially broken.

Orange Polenta Biscuits


deborah said...

these look delicious.... love the polenta and orange combination. i'll definitely keep your page bookmarked to try in the not too distant future. i'll have to check if my copies of jamie oliver's books includes the return of the naked chef.

on another polenta note; have you tried cooking polenta in the oven? its more regulated and by passes all the stiring.

Su-Yin -D├ęcorateur said...

oh wow! I cant wait to try this recipe! Nobody in this house likes polenta :( It must be my bad amature-polenta-cooking- techniques! haha
I'll try this recipe for sure!

Jen said...

Saffron- yes I highly recommend this recipe, it's worth a try at least once. If you want I could email you the recipe.
I think from now on any polenta I make will be in the oven, less stirring as you said : )

Suyin- I'm sure after they try these cookies they will change their minds about polenta.

Ilva said...

Thanks for the visit! These sounds great but what do we do, the few in this world who doesn't possess any cookbooks of Jamie Oliver?? Post the recipe!

Helene said...

What a delicious picture! I love anything polenta, please pretty please post the recipe!

Jen said...

ok, i think i am slowly caving in to public pressure...

charley said...

My cookbook doesn't say how much flour to use. It just says all purpose flour, but no amount. Please help! I want to make these.

AJR said...

Did you get the answer to how much flour? I have the same book, and 1/2 way through making it I noticed there was no amount next to the flour... big mystery.

AJR said...

thanks for posting the recipe, I was 1/2 way through making this when I realized the book doesn't tell you how much flour to use - 100g plain all-purpose flour.


Anonymous said...

I found a similar recipe in an Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook.
the recipe called for 125g butter but had no other "wet" ingredient. My question is" Do I need to cook the polenta first?"

Unknown said...

Seems I have the Polenta Voodoo curse, everytime (twice) so far, I have tried this recipie, it has failed on me.

I get soft mass that just covers the tray, they dont hold their shape they jsut merge into one.

I am following the recipie to the letter, and i think it will make more then the 25 biscuits to seems to suggest.

Any tips would be welcome.