I love polenta and being from Texas I grew up on some good buttery sweet grits. But I guess my taste buds have matured and now I am finding out that I am very fond of different types of polenta. There is creamy and then there are cakes. I have came up with a recipe that is really versatile and can be use for Italian or Mexican dishes. It is really easy to make and can be made ahead and chilled if you are wanting to fix them for a nice appetizer for a larger get together with family or friends.
Ingredients you will need:
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of Texas sweet onions
4 cloves of minced garlic
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups of coarse cornmeal
1/3 heavy cream
1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of butter
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of truffle salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
Use a large to medium saucepan with a lid. Turn your stove on to a medium to low heat and add your oil and butter to your pan and add the onion and sweat it until they are translucent, and then add your garlic but do not burn it. After you smell the garlic it has bloomed and you are ready to add your chicken or vegetable stock and heavy cream and turn the heat up and get it very close to a boil. You will start to add your cornmeal slowly while stirring so you will not get any lumps “Just like gravy we do not like any lumps”. Once all cornmeal has been added you will turn the heat down to low and simmer stirring about every 10 minutes or so for about 25-30 minutes.
After your cornmeal is really creamy and cooked you will add your Parmesan cheese and mix well. If you have a sheet pan or molded pan you want to use I recommend using a very light layer of olive oil on the bottom of the pan, or parchment paper. Pour out the polenta mixture and spread out evenly, after it has cooled you can use different molds or just cut them into desired shape. I then take a saute pan and add a small amount of olive oil and saute until golden brown on each side and then serve with appropriate sauce.
Notes or suggestions: if serving Mexican food you can add roasted corn or roasted poblano and serve with mango salsa. If doing an Italian dish you can use a marinara or meat sauce with your polenta cakes. This is a pretty easy recipe I hope you enjoy it,