When I was growing up, we had polenta several times each month. It was a staple in our home, much like potatoes, pasta or rice are in many homes around the world. It was served mainly with a stew, often rabbit, sometimes chicken, and even with liver sauté with onions, mushrooms and red wine. No matter how much we ate, or how many friends were also at the table we always had leftover polenta. We knew that the following morning our breakfast would be fried polenta, which to this day is still one of my favorites.
At the end of the evening meal, my mother would place the polenta in a loaf pan and sort of press it into place. The next morning it would be quite firm and she would slice of pieces about half an inch thick, plop them in a cast iron skillet that was bubbling with loads of butter, and fry each side until it was golden brown and crunchy. Then, she would place them on a plate, slathered with more butter and drown each in warm maple syrup.
If you have never saved your left over polenta, or if you have had left over polenta and never served it this way, you are missing out on one of the greatest breakfast treats around. It’s full of flavors and textures that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.