Spicy Goat's Cheese with Polenta, Chilli Jam and Pesto

This goat's cheese is coated in spicy crumbs, then deep-fried and served on golden squares of polenta.

Ingredients


  • 50 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 4 x 4cm thick slices goat's cheese (from a log with about 7.5cm/3in diameter)
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 small red pepper (cored, de-seeded and finely diced)
  • 1 tblsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tblsp pesto, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tblsp freshly grated parmesan
  • 100 g instant polenta (cornmeal/maizemeal)
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • baby mixed salad leaves dressed with french vinaigrette, to serve
  • chilli jam, to serve

Method

  1. This goat's cheese is coated in spicy crumbs, then deep-fried and served on golden squares of polenta. The polenta can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and kept covered with cling film in the fridge. They can also be enjoyed separately - try covering them with Tomato Sauce, a little mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan, then bake in the oven at 200°C (400°F/Gas 6), for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden.
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish with the curry powder, chilli powder, turmeric, sesame seeds and parsley. Beat the egg in a separate shallow bowl. Dip each slice of goat's cheese into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture so that it is completely coated. Arrange on a flat plate lined with non-stick baking paper and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight, to allow the breadcrumbs to set.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the diced pepper, chilli sauce, pesto and Parmesan. Pour in the polenta, stirring all the time. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the mixture starts to come away from the sides of the pan. Pour the polenta into an 18cm (7in) square baking tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Allow to cool and then cover and chill for at least 30 minutes until firm.
  4. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Heat the sunflower oil in a deep-fat fryer or a deep-sided saucepan to 180°C (350°F). To check the temperature, drop a basil or parsley leaf into the oil - when hot enough, the leaf should crackle. Carefully lower in the coated goat's cheese pieces, cook for 3 minutes until crisp and golden brown, then drain well on kitchen paper. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, take the polenta from the fridge, cut into quarters and remove from the tin. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil. Gently fry the polenta squares for 1-2 minutes on each side until heated through and lightly golden. These can then be kept warm in the oven for 5-10 minutes if necessary.
  6. Arrange the polenta on four warmed plates, place the goat's cheese on top and arrange a small mound of the dressed baby salad leaves on the cheese. Drizzle the Chilli Jam and pesto around the edge.




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