Polenta is an Italian recipe made with cornmeal. It can be served hot as a porridge type meal for breakfast, as a creamy side dish for dinner, or allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf, which can then be sliced and fried or grilled. My recipe makes a creamy, almost mashed potato consistency type dish, which fooled my family a little the first time I made it. They know I'm always trying new recipes, so after taking a bite they asked me, "What recipe did you use for the mashed potatoes"? They were a little surprised that it wasn't potatoes, even though they said the texture threw them off a little, and they couldn't figure out what I had done to them.
Polenta is a great dish that doesn't get nearly enough recognition. This simple, unassuming recipe goes well with saucy main dishes, and was the perfect base for soaking up the yummy broth from some Picadillo I served it with recently. (Psst, that picadilla recipe will be on the blog soon).
I used Cabot White Sharp Cheddar Cheese in this recipe. You can use any brand you'd like, but the flavor of Cabot cheese is amazing, and the quality and taste makes a huge difference in the polenta. This isn't a sponsored post for Cabot cheese either, I just really love their cheeses!
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Creamy Cheddar Polenta
2 cups whole milk
3 cups water
1 cup stone ground cornmeal
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Good pinch of onion powder
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Place milk, 2 cups of the water, and a large pinch of salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and add cornmeal in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps.
Keep polenta at a simmer, and cook for 10 - 40 minutes, (depending on the coarseness of the cornmeal) stirring frequently until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in butter and onion powder, followed by the cheddar cheese.
Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Leftovers may be refrigerated. To restore it's creamy texture, reheat with a little milk over low heat until warmed through.
Recipe adapted from: Shared Appetite
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