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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Soft Polenta with Rosemary

I have often seen polenta on menus, on cooking shows and have once before tried it and do remember liking it; however, I have never tried making it.  I never really knew what to serve it with, or what it would be a good accompaniment to...something that I would usually serve with potatoes maybe, or rice?  I couldn't seem to figure it out.  Also, I was under the assumption that polenta required 'babysitting', ie: you cannot take your eyes off of it for even a second, as disaster may ensue (similar to my thoughts on risotto).  Polenta is a soft, pillowy bed for just about anything served on top, especially good for braised meats with rich sauces and I have discovered that it is quite easy to make and extremely versatile.  You could experiment with almost any combination of herbs and cheeses to compliment your dish, try thyme and goat cheese with pork or rosemary and blue cheese with beef, the combinations are endless!

3 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
1 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a medium pot heat broth, water and garlic until boiling.  Turn heat to medium and slowly whisk in cornmeal, ensuring there are no lumps.  Once Cornmeal has been whisked in, turn heat to low and with a wooden spoon, stir constantly for about 10 minutes, until thick and creamy.

Off the heat stir in cream cheese, Rosemary, salt and pepper.  Finish by stirring in Parmesan cheese. 
Serve immediately, or if prepared slightly before eating, cover with lid and return to very low heat, stir occasionally so polenta does not stick to bottom of pot.

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