The Power of Polenta

I recently discovered one of the easiest and tastiest side dishes to accompany any week night meal. Polenta is made from a boiled liquid ingredient and cornmeal. You basically boil the liquid, stir in the cornmeal and then add in flavor components. This is a great pantry side dish and is very versatile! In the recipe below I just added in what I had on hand, you can do the same with virtually anything. Ideas are Cheddar and chives, thyme and garlic, ricotta and spinach, etc. Just stir in what you like and you can transform this easy recipe into your own!

Soft Polenta with Parm and Rosemary (makes 4 side dishes)

Boil 3 cups of Chicken stock in a saucepan. Add in 12 Tablespoons of yellow cornmeal gradually and stir in with a whisk. Continue stirring until the polenta becomes thick and creamy. Add in 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Transfer polenta to a serving dish and let stand for a couple minutes before serving to thicken further. Enjoy!

You can go a step further with this and make polenta squares that can be done in advance. Transfer the hot polenta from the saucepan once prepared to a 8 x 10 sheet pan. Spread the polenta evenly on the bottom. Let cool to room temperature (this can all be done in advanced, even overnight) Once cooled, cut polenta into squares and transfer to a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stick under a high broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and polenta is heated through. Serve!

Polenta can also be grilled instead of broiled, which is a great option as well. Experiment with this dish! There is so much you can do and make it your own.


1 comment:

Gretta said...

I never thought about making my own polenta, but this looks easy to do, and I like the idea of adding my own ingredients after the basics. I will try. Thanks!

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