Creamy Polenta

by Rachel on May 2, 2010

Creamy Polenta - it's not just for dinner anymore.

I put creamy polenta into the same category as risotto and macaroni and cheese – total comfort food.  This is my friend Chef Anne McAllister’s version.  It makes a lovely addition to a dinner of Pot Roast, or Braised Short Ribs. I think it’s great for breakfast, or lunch, or snack, well really anytime and I’d eat it all by itself if no one else was looking.

Creamy Polenta (4-6 servings)

  • 2 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water (plus an extra cup – just in case)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup polenta (not quick-cooking) or yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons best quality unsalted butter
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Bring the chicken stock, milk and salt to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan.  Once it is at a boil add the polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly.  Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly for two minutes.  Reduce heat to low and cover the pan.

Cook at a bare simmer, stirring with a long-handled spoon every once in a while for 45 minutes total (the cooking time will vary by the kind of polenta grains that you buy – it is worth checking the package for how long it says it will take – this should give you a better sense of total cooking time).  Add the extra liquid, a little at a time, if the polenta seems dry and is still not cooked through.  A thin layer of crust will likely form at the bottom of the pan no matter what you try to do to prevent it – just make sure that it is not burning.

Remove the polenta from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is incorporated.  Stir in the parmesan cheese.  I use about half a cup of Parmesan, but you can add whatever amount suits you.  Check for seasoning.  Serve immediately.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one } May 2, 2010 at 11:40 am

I love polenta! I have started to make Polenta Croutons and my children love it. I will try your recipe soon!

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