Polish Polenta Cakes with bacon

I don’t have a lot of experience with polish food, but one of my favorite writers is Lily Brett, an Australian-American woman with polish roots. Her parents are both Auschwitz survivors, a recurring topic in her books, nonetheless written with such a subtle humor which is just wonderful.  Food is another constant theme in the books, especially in ‘Uncomfortably Close’ (or ‘You gotta have balls’), which even includes half a dozen mouth watering polish recipes at the end. Unfortunately none for breakfast, so here is another one, which I found doing some research. It is easy to make, easy to prepare and tastes really good. The salsa is optional of course!

·         5 oz. (140g) sliced bacon
·         5 oz. (140g) corn (not sweet)
·         2 oz. (50g) Parmesan cheese
·         18 oz. (500g) curd
·         2 eggs
·         5 oz. (140g) polenta
·         4 oz. (100g) flour
·         5 oz. (120ml) oil
·         salt
·         sweet pepper
·         black pepper

Preheat the oven to 430°F (200°C).
Cut the bacon in small pieces and fry in a dry skillet. Remove the bacon and use the fat to grease a baking form of 7x10-in.
Grate the cheese and stir together with the curd in a bowl. Beat in the eggs and add the bacon. Finally add the polenta, the flour and the oil and stir to get a smooth texture.
Season with salt, sweet and black pepper.
Pour the batter in the baking form and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the corn.
This part can be done the evening before. In this case cover the form with cling foil and put in the fridge. Take it out the next morning, while heating the oven.
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes.
Serve warm, optional with the salsa below.

Serves 4-6

Cucumber‑Red Pepper Salsa

·         1 medium cucumber, partially peeled and chopped
·         ½ c red pepper bell, chopped
·         ½ small red onion, chopped
·         1 clove garlic, minced
·         ¼ c fresh parsley, chopped
·         dash of salt
·         fresh or dried chili, chopped (optional)

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl and salt to taste.
Cool in the refrigerator for at least fifteen minutes before serving.


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