Polenta is an alternative to potatoes, mash or pasta, and works very well with dishes that are saucy. Polenta is made of ground corn and has a mushy and porridge-like texture, and like corn; is a little sweet when cooked.
This low calorie ingredient can easily take on many different flavours such as garlic, herbs, spices- such as cumin or paprika- or liquids such as heavy cream.
I've used a mix of water and milk as my cooking liquid, but you could use only milk as well.
The polenta can be made two hours in advance, and if is becomes to stiff, cook again over low heat with a bit of milk or water.
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- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup polenta or coarsely ground cornmeal.
- 3 oz (about 1½ cups) finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1½ tsp salt
- In a medium saucepan bring milk, water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and gradually add polenta, whisk it, then bring to a simmer. Reduce to low heat, cover the pan and cook, whisking every 10 minutes until thickened and no longer gritty, it will take about 25 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add grated cheese and butter. Cook again over low heat and keep stirring until properly mixed with a porridge-like consistency (about 2 minutes).