Sweet Corn: Five Ways To Make Polenta

December 28, 2011 | klein

Polenta is an Italian dish made from boiled grains of cornmeal. Also known as grits, it’s an inexpensive, filling staple that can be cooked in a wide variety of ways. If you’ve never tried it, here are five simple recipes for polenta that you can make at home:

  • Cook the polenta in chicken stock to add more depth of flavor and stir in fresh rosemary, golden raisins, and grated Parmesan cheese. This is an excellent side dish that goes with just about any main course.
  • For breakfast, cook the polenta in milk instead of water to give it a more robust flavor. Mix in shredded Cheddar cheese, top with a fried egg and serve for a Southern-style start to the day.
  • Polenta makes an excellent base for many kinds of meals. Serving a traditional ratatouille (a mixed vegetable stew) on top of a cake of polenta will let the flavors seep into the corn, perfectly finishing the plate.
  • If you are cooking for people with a sensitivity to wheat gluten, polenta makes an excellent pizza crust. Cook as normal, let dry and smooth over the base of a pizza pan. Top as normal, bake in a hot oven and serve.
  • Polenta cakes are also a great way to serve the dish. Mold them into the size and shape of a can lid, quickly fry them in a pan and top with shredded chicken, chipotle peppers, and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake them in an oven to melt everything together.

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