Saturday, October 10, 2015

Soft Polenta

Serves 4
Recipe from Everyday Food
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This makes a delicious easy-to-make side dish or quick lunch topped with your favorite chunky tomato sauce or sautéed mushrooms splashed with balsamic vinegar (my favorite.)

4 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¾ cup yellow cornmeal or polenta (not quick-cooking)
¼ cup finely grated cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, or sharp cheddar)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon minced fresh herbs (oregano, basil, parsley or sage) (optional)

In a large saucepan, bring the water, salt and pepper to a boil over high heat.  Whisking constantly, very gradually add cornmeal in a thin stream, whisking until smooth before adding more.
Reduce heat to a medium-low simmer, whisking often, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.  (It will be the consistency of oatmeal.)  Remove from heat; stir in cheese and butter (and herbs, if using.)  Serve immediately.

Nutritional Info per Serving: 142 calories; 4.7 grams fat; 4.2 grams protein; 20.4 grams carbohydrates; 1.9 grams fiber

*Broiled Polenta Slices
I tried this and the slices didn’t stay in tact, BUT it was especially delicious because the “rectangular-ish blobs” had a slightly charred crust and we thought that was a good thing.

Brush an 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch loaf pan lightly with olive oil.  Pour hot Soft Polenta into the pan; smooth the top. Cool to room temperature and then chill until firm to the touch (about 3 hours and up to 3 days) covered in plastic wrap.  Heat broiler.  Invert polenta onto a cutting board; slice ½-inch thick.  Brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil. Arrange the slices in a single layer; brush 1 teaspoon oil over the tops of the slices.  Broil 4 inches from heat, without turning, until golden and browning in spots, 2 to 25 minutes.

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