When you ask a checker at the grocery store to lead you to the polenta and you are brought to a thick, premade log, just say no. There is a cheaper way to make this grain, and the taste is much more rewarding than the thick gummy texture often found in the already-made form.
When you ask a checker at the grocery store to lead you to the polenta and you are brought to a thick, premade log, just say no. There is a cheaper way to make this grain, and the taste is much more rewarding than the thick gummy texture often found in the already-made form. Simply go to the bulk section in any supermarket and purchase yellow polenta—any grain size will do.
A nice big pot of polenta gives you a week of potential meals. Polenta often pairs well with rich meat sauces, as well as served plain with creamy cheeses like goat or mascarpone. The following recipes are just as easy to prepare as pasta or hot breakfast cereal, but will bring a warm, embracing feeling to your kitchen.
1 cup of medium-grain yellow polenta (or cornmeal)
4 cups of water
Bring water and salt to a boil and whisk in the polenta. Stir for a minute or so until the mixture becomes thick, then turn the heat to low and let simmer.
Let the mixture cook for around thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add butter if desired.
Polenta with drunken portobello sauce
This rich sauce is so flavorful, you’d swear there was meat in it. The sauce will stay good in your fridge for up to a week and is a great topping for pizza, pasta or a savory breakfast as well as this polenta dish.
1 can of crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 tablespoons of tomato paste*
3 to 4 medium portobello mushrooms, or 2 large
2 handfuls of baby carrots
3 garlic cloves
½ cup of chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
½ cup of medium-bodied red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
herbes de Provence
Prepare your ingredients. Chop carrots, onion and mushrooms. Mince the garlic cloves.
Heat a large saucepan on medium high and add a glug of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and stir for a few minutes until softened. Add the carrots and stir those until soft.
Add mushrooms, salt, pepper and herbes de Provence and stir, letting the mushrooms release some of their moisture.
Empty the can of tomatoes into the saucepan. Stir and then walk away for around eight minutes, letting the flavors mix together.
Add the wine and chicken/vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture cook at medium heat for around fifteen minutes.
Add tomato paste and let cook for another ten minutes at low, until the sauce is to the consistency of your liking.
Serves 4 with leftovers
*It’s best to buy tomato paste in a tube, (often found in the canned tomato aisle) so that you always have it on hand and you don’t waste an entire can for a few tablespoons.
Sweet morning polenta
½ cup of leftover polenta
¼ cup of soy, almond or skim milk
1 handful of dried fruit (cherries are especially good)
Add the dried fruit to the leftover polenta. Reheat in the microwave for a minute or two.
Splash with milk of your choice and enjoy your hot breakfast.