Polenta! In a bowl or on the grill, this humble porridge is simple comfort food at its best. This weekend I made Polenta 2 ways. First, a warm creamy bowl topped with Crock-Pot Braised Beef for our main course. The next day, as a side dish to go with our barbecue dinner. Gruel or grill, here’s how to make it…
- 5 cups water, divided
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup polenta
- 1 tbsp. butter
- grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
The cooking method is very much like making risotto and will take a full 40 minutes. Heat 5 cups of water in a sauce pan. In a second sauce pan, combine 3 cups of the heated water, salt and bay leaf. Gradually stream in the Polenta, whisking with each addition. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat, stirring frequently. As the liquid becomes absorbed, add the remaining water 1 ladle at a time. Continue to stir the Polenta frequently until it reaches the desired thickness, about 40 minutes. At the end of the cook time, remove the bay leaf and stir in butter and Parmesan. Yes, it’s that easy. So now that you have made a batch of Polenta, how will you serve it?
You could serve it in shallow bowls with extra Parmesan as a side dish. Or, enjoy it as a main course, topped with Crock-Pot Braised Beef for dinner. Check out the link for the beef recipe, this is what I made and Mr. Extruded Noodle thought it was very good. ♥
What a meal! But what about the leftovers? Once cooked, Polenta will begin to firm up almost immediately. Before that happens, pour it into a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate.
The next day you will easily be able to slide out the Polenta, peel away the parchment and lay it on a cutting board. Slice into wedges.
Now out to the grill. Lightly oil the grates and grill the wedges for about 6 minutes per side.
I made a grill meal of Ribs, zucchini and Polenta. Here is our Italian barbeque!
I thought the grilled Polenta was delicious, and this was my favorite version. It was pretty tasty dipped in BBQ sauce.
I’ll definitely be making this again over the winter months, and can’t wait to experiment with different ways to serve it. Now that you know how easy it is to make Polenta, stir up a batch at your house this weekend.