Yield: 4 servings
Vegetable oil, for greasing pan
3 ½ cups water
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp saltI
1 cup polenta
2 tbsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp orange zest
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3 bananas, sliced
½ cup pecans, halved
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
Spoonful of Nutella
Powdered sugar to garnish (optional)
Orange zest to garnish (optional)
To make the polenta: Lightly oil an 8-inch square pan and set aside. Bring water and orange juice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Once incorporated, reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture is thick and the cornmeal is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir often. Turn off the heat. Add the sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract, and butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Transfer the hot polenta to the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Refrigerate until the polenta is cold and firm, about two hours. The polenta can be left in the refrigerator overnight as well.
Transfer the cooled polenta to a plate by inverting the plate on top of the pan and flipping the pan. The polenta should slide out. Cut the polenta into 4 square pieces. Working in batches, fry the polenta in a pan using 1 tablespoon of oil for each piece of polenta. The polenta should cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until brown and crisp. Transfer the polenta to paper towels to drain.
To make the caramelized bananas: Bring the butter and brown sugar to a boil in a large, shallow pan over medium-high heat. Add banana slices and gently stir for 30 seconds. Lower heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the pecans, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to incorporate.
To assemble: Transfer one piece of the fried polenta to a plate. Add a heaping spoonful of Nutella to the top of the polenta. Spoon the caramelized bananas perpendicularly across the Nutella. Garnish with powdered sugar or orange zest if desired.
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