Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Creamy Polenta

I’m a plain Jane when it comes to food.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m always up for trying new things, but really I prefer my food on the blander end of the epicurean spectrum.   Polenta meets these criteria and more - it is delicious plain, but easy to spice up for the more adventurous.  I have been making my own polenta for a while now and thought I had a pretty good recipe.  One day, I lost it and had to look on allrecipes.com (my favorite source for recipes).    Lo and behold, I discovered this fabulous recipe for “Cheesy Polenta” – yum!  It is the creamiest polenta I've ever had, including restaurant fare!
Now, you know me . . . I didn’t have all the ingredients I needed.   Here’s what I used when I made the recipe:

2 cups skim milk
2 cups water
1 ½ tsp kosher salt

1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 T. olive oil (I actually had butter, but I prefer olive oil)
A generous handful of Mexican-style shredded cheese 
Combine milk, water, and salt in a 2 qt sauce pan over medium-high heat, until it comes to a boil.  Gradually whisk in cornmeal.  Reduce heat to low, and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes, and stir every 3-4 minutes, to prevent sticking.  Stir in olive oil and pepper.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese.  Eat!
The first stage is the trickiest – I am just the teensiest bit of an impatient person and I frequently let my milk and water boil over because I’ve turned it up too high!  
Do whisk in your cornmeal - I've been lazy and just poured it in.  Otherwise, it gets all lumpy.
Hot tip – After the first couple stirrings, I sometimes add ¼ cup of water to the mixture to keep it kind of smooth and stirrable.  After it's bubbled and brewed for 20 minutes, I add my olive oil and pepper in one step and stir 'em in.
Then, I add the cheese (I think most shredded cheese would work well) and stir – I bet you could combine these last two steps, but I’d already deviated from the original recipe enough.  The least I can do is correctly follow the steps!
Sometimes, I pour it into four separate containers to chill, other times I put it all in one big one and then (after it chills) take slices out and pan fry them for 5-7 minutes on each side. 
This stuff is so delicious, I’ve made it three times since taking the pictures (I have a long lag time between photographing and posting – can you tell!??!).   

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  1. I've never tried polenta before.. I knew it was easy but I never had a tried and true recipe.. Now i do! I'll be pinning this to my pinterest board for sure!

    Thanks for the endorsement!

  2. I have to try this! We really appreciate you sharing this at our link party this week! We can't wait to see what you are up to next week!

    Take care,


  3. I'm embarrassed to admit I've never tried polenta but clearly I need to! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!


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