Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Polenta

I love polenta. It's kind of like a cornmeal porridge and it works great as the carb for almost any meal. There are tons of easy recipes for it, but here's how I like to make mine.

INGREDIENTS [serves 4]:
1/2 cup cornmeal
2-1/2 cups stock (I use chicken but vegetable would be good too; and if you're in a pinch and have no stock, water is okay)
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
splash of cream
pat of butter (roughly 1 teaspoon)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Start by grating the cheese and chopping up the garlic.

I like a rougher chop for my garlic because I like my polenta kind of rustic but if you don't like big chunks of garlic, just mince it finely.
Next, get the stock boiling with the garlic.
Once the stock comes to a boil, add in the cornmeal and reduce the heat to low.
Have a whisk handy so you can start whisking (furiously), otherwise the polenta will be clumpy. Keep babysitting the polenta, whisking often so it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes until the polenta is thick and has the consistency of tapioca pudding and remove from the heat.
Whisk in the cream, butter, and cheese and then add in salt and pepper to taste. The cream, butter, and cheese are all optional but I think they add a tremendous amount of flavor.
Serve immediately. Just know that the polenta will get stiffer as it cools. You can actually spread the leftovers out over a sheet pan, let it cool, cut into squares, and pan fry them in some olive oil. That's super delicious as well.

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