Polenta or cornmeal is naturally gluten free. It is equally impressive in sweet or savoury dishes Inexpensive, and readily available, this versatile ingredient can play a key role in many Free- From recipes.

To cook polenta, the grain is added to boiling liquid and stirred until it forms a porridge or mash. The choice of liquid can be stock, water, milk or even beer.

The mix is cooked on top of the stove until it forms a custard- like mash.

Served fresh from the stove creamy style with butter Parmesan and mixed herbs, a polenta mash pairs beautifully with Italian foods. Or you can add maple syrup, cinnamon and chopped apples to make a warming breakfast porridge.

To make a lasagne-like bake, cool and set the savoury polenta mash on a baking tray or a spring form round cake dish. Experiment with a variety of fillings – my favourite is layers of roasted Mediterranean vegetables and feta cheese but a classic meat or vegan Bolognese filling works just as well.

To create croutons or fries, cut the set polenta into strips or cubes and fry until crispy. To vary the flavours choose different seasonings, bases and spices. I love garlic, oregano and sea salt for my croutons.

Polenta fries taste amazing made with Gluten free session I.P.A beer and a little grated haloumi. Perfect with beer, Perfect bar-food!

I.P.A Polenta & Haloumi Fries.
100 grams of polenta (sometimes sold as cornmeal)
100mls of   Gluten free session Free From I.P.A beer
100 mls of water

1 tsp oregano dried

30 grams of grated haloumi

Method

Add the liquid and oregano to the pot and bring to the boil

Pour in the polenta (Stirring constantly until it thickens.)

Pour into a suitable mould lined with baking paper it should be about   thick

Let the polenta set in the fridge for several hours.

Cut into thick French fry shapes. Shallow or deep fry until crisp

Serve with ketchup, or Sriracha Mayonnaise .

To make Polenta for a lasagne like bake
400 grams of polenta
1 litre of stock

Method
Bring the stock to a boil
Add the polenta stirring until it thickens
Pour half the mix into the base of your pan
Put the other half in a baking tray or cake pan (this will be the lid)
When the polenta has set top the base with your choice of fillings

Add the top and bake.