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easy creamy polenta

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This is my new favorite side dish. I’ve been making it on rare occasions for years now, but it never turned out right. As it turns out, it was the main ingredient that was causing my polenta crisis. I had bought a fancy package polenta grain at the store but a friend of mine uses just plain old cornmeal and it turns out great. I picked up corn meal at the store and I’ve had amazing polenta ever since. I also stopped reading recipes on how to much liquid to add. I now continue to add liquid until I get the consistency and texture I like.

Polenta is similar to mashed potatoes in that you can flavor it anyway you like. I really like to add cheese and herbs to this, but look forward to more experimenting. As with most grains I cook, I used stock as my liquid instead of water. This method adds so much more flavor than water.

If you are tired of your staple side dish, I hope you give polenta a chance. Most kitchens have cornmeal stashed away somewhere and this dish is incredibly versatile, easy and fast to prepare.

Easy Creamy Polenta

1 cup cornmeal
2-3 cups of stock (or water) depending on the consistency you like
pat of butter or drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh or dried herbs (anything will work)
cheese of your choice

Heat a cup and half of stock over medium heat, bringing it to a soft boil. Add your cornmeal and stir to combine. Start adding the rest of the stock slowly. Let the stock absorb into the cornmeal and determine if you like that consistency before you add more. (I like mine really creamy so I add a lot of stock.) You need to stir frequently while adding the stock so don’t go to far.

Once you have your desired creaminess, add the remain ingredients. If you can’t serve immediately, keep on low heat and stir periodically so it doesn’t get clumpy.

You now have polenta!

*If you have leftovers the, the polenta will not remain creamy after it has been chilled. It’s still delicious though.

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