Polenta is a versatile dish, and one that you can make in so many different ways that it truly will shock you. It can be used as a savory side or a dessert base. It can be cut into slices or served in a pourable version.
Did I say it was versatile?
I’m going to give you the basic recipe that can be either eaten in its pourable version or set up to a slicing consistency. Time is all that is needed to move from one to the other.
And there is little effort in making basic polenta.
- 1 c diced up mushrooms of your choice
- 1/4 c shallots, minced
- 1 lg clove of garlic
- olive oil for cooking
- 2 1/2 c of chicken broth, white wine, water, vegetable broth, (don’t use all wine, but add up to a cup if you wish of the 2 1/2 c total)
- 1 c polenta (yellow cornmeal)
- 3/4 c freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Heat up a saute pan and pour in a tablespoon or so of EVOO. When it glistens, add the mushrooms, shallots and garlic and stir, sauteing until they are softened. Set aside.
- Bring the liquids to a rolling boil in a saucepan.
- Pour the polenta into the boiling water, whisking as you do to prevent lumping.
- Continue stirring until it starts to thicken and returns to a boil.
- Reduce heat to very low and cover, cooking for 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes.
- When done, put the mushroom mixture in and stir.
- Add the cheese and stir.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish.
- Pour the polenta in and smooth.
- Cool 1 hour and then refrigerate until cold.
- Cut into whatever size you wish. You can now grill or saute in olive oil each slice before serving.
SOURCE: Sherry Peyton
NOTES: If you want creamy soft polenta, eat immediately after step 8. You can store the refrigerated polenta for a good three days before using. You can add any cheese you prefer, most liquids (even milk works), and many different vegetables as you desire. Polenta, either in the pourable or sliced form is great for breakfast with some maple syrup and fruit. Enjoy.
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