Cheesy Polenta!

So much cheese!

So, as a Southerner, I’m required by law to love cheese grits. And I do! They are delicious! And cheesy polenta? Is pretty much cheese grits. My mom loves grits but never really cooked them, so I embarked on my mission to learn to make polenta with only the Internet to guide me. Also, with a lack of polenta. This is cornmeal. The texture isn’t as nice as more coarsely-ground polenta would be, but it’s a side dish that works up pretty quickly, and hey, I had it in the cupboard; none of the stores I went to for the few weeks I was planning this had any real, stone-ground polenta. Not even the Italian market!

This is a good starchy side, easy to work up. If you want to be less indulgent you can flavor it with just broth and a bit of cream, or stir in some good thick tomato sauce, or what have you — it does not have to be ridiculously cheesy as this is. This is also a good economical way to use up various cheese ends, stumps and crumbs; if it will melt, it will go well in here! In my opinion one good salty hard cheese (Parmesan or something) serves an important role, but hey, this is your cheesy polenta.

Cheesy Polenta, adapted from G. Garvin

1 c. cornmeal
3 c. water or low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 c. grated cheddar*
1/4 c. finely grated parmesan*
1/4 c. grated fontina*
a few crumbles of goat cheese*
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

*or the cheese stumps, ends, bits, crumblies and wedgebacks you have.

Whisk in the cornmeal into salted water (or broth) in a saucepan over high heat. Keep whisking until it comes to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or so, letting it get all mellow while still whisking every once in a while to keep it from getting so mellow it lumps. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cheeses slowly, allowing one handful to melt before adding another, then add the butter and cream. Taste for seasoning and serve warm!

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~ by iliadawry on 20 May 2013.

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