Sunday, November 14, 2010

Polenta with Corn

Hi! This is my first post, and I'm glad to be sharing what goes on in my kitchen with you. I'm traveling quite a bit over the next few weeks, so I hope to share more as the New Year gets closer. Today, it's a polenta recipe I made last week.

For years, POLENTA was a scary word to me. It sounded hard to make. In this month's Everyday Food, I spied a polenta recipe that not only looked awesome, but took less than 30 minutes from start to finish--just enough time to bake some chicken or fish while it cooked. I adapted it, and this is what I came up with!

Melt 1T. unsalted butter in a saucepan.
Add 1.5-2c. frozen corn and 1-2t. thyme (less for fresh, more for dried)
Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium/medium-high heat until the corn is warmed.

Add 1c. milk and 1.5c. water. I used whole milk for a creamier/richer texture.
Bring to a boil, and then whisk in 1/2c. finely-ground cornmeal. When you're whisking the cornmeal in, feel free to give it a good beating to get rid of any lumps that might be hanging around. This has to be done as you're adding and combining the cornmeal because it gets pretty thick, pretty quick. I used white cornmeal.

Stir constantly over medium heat until very thick, about 6 minutes.
Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in another 1T. unsalted butter and salt to taste. You can also add 1/4c. Parmesan cheese, that will make it cheesy and a little saltier.

I served this with short ribs, but it's an easy side dish for any meat. It has the consistency of mashed potatoes, and is really delicious! (In fact, I've been thinking about it all week--so I'm off to make some now).

-Chef Mary

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