Fried Polenta with Irish Cheddar, roasted Cauliflower and fresh Plum sauce

Grilled Polenta with roated cauliflower, Irish farmhouse cheddar and plum sauce

I wanted to do a little recipe to pay tribute to our Irish Farmhouse Cheddars; especially after visiting Derg Farm in county Tipperary last month, I wanted to do something a bit new and for everybody. I knew  that I had an organic cauliflower in the fridge, but I wanted to drift away – at least this time – from the usual gratin that I have previously made. It had to include Cheddar of course and I wanted to avoid a soup and toasties, even if they are delicious together. The idea came when I parked the car in the driveway; I discovered that I had bought some polenta a few month back and when I opened the fridge, I still had a lot of local plums a friend gave me… Click… Clock… Click… Clock…  I might have watched “Ready, Steady, Cook!” a bit too much during my early years in Ireland, but it delivered a lovely dish, vegetarian too, satisfying and for everyone to enjoy! And this, my friends, is how last night went…

For the caulifower, You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium size cauliflower
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

How to:

First, you need to chop the cauliflower into “florets” and place them with the garlic in their skins, on a baking tray with a good dash of olive oil. Season and bake at 200c for 30 to 40 minutes…

Cauliflower and garlic, ready to be roasted…

While this happens, you can start working on the plum sauce. Plums are still in season at the moment. I used what I had left, about 10.

Fresh local plums…

For the sauce: you’ll need

  • About ten plums, stoned
  • two tbsp of soya sauce
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 20cl of water

How To:

In a pan, put all the ingredients together. Let them simmer for about 15 minutes and keep squashing the plums with a wooden spoon. If it dries out, add a bit more water. Once you get a syrupy texture, drain with a sieve over a sauce pan.

Plums simmering…

The cauliflower should be ready by now; place on kitchen towels to suck up the olive oil ( or at least the excess of it), let it cool and chop the whole thing in smaller pieces…

Roasted cauliflower

And remember to chop it all, with the garlic that you have peeled from its envelopes…

Chopped cauliflower

Now, we need to work on our polenta. It will take only 4 minutes to cook, so you need to get yourself organized…

For the polenta: you’ll need

  • 250g of polenta
  • 1 litre of water
  • a pinch of salt
  • a drizzle of good olive oil

How to:

Put the polenta in a large pan, with the olive oil and salt. Pour the water over, and cook full blast for 4 minutes while stirring all the time…

Polenta, ready to rock…

Once the polenta is nearly ready, throw in the chopped cauliflower and 250 grammes of Irish farmhouse cheddar; I didn’t have any Derg Cheddar yesterday, so I used some Hegarty’s from Co. Cork… Tasty too!

Derg Cheddar maturing
Derg Cheddar with crackers and chutney

An old friend from Cork, Hegarty’s Cheddar…

Hegarty’s Cheddar

I grated the cheddar, and put it in the hot polenta…

Grate the great cheddar…

With a spatula, pour the polenta mix in an oiled rectangular baking dish to let it dry. When cooler, flip it over on a large chopping board and start cutting in the shape you want…

A rest in a dish…

Ready for frying then?

Frying the polenta

It will only take a few minutes… Serve with the simple plum sauce made earlier and a couple of lime wedges for extra zing…

Over view

And again… A tasty treat!

Grilled Polenta with roated cauliflower, Irish farmhouse cheddar and plum sauce

Keep Well and eat Happy

Slán Tamall



4 thoughts on “Fried Polenta with Irish Cheddar, roasted Cauliflower and fresh Plum sauce

  1. My daughters are in West Cork with their Da for his 60th birthday. I have sent them the recipe …. It would be a fitting cheesy present for the son of the cheese guru and a man who says DELICIOUS almost as often as I!!

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