|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 15g||19%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||43%|
|Total Carbohydrate 36g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Polenta is a simple Italian dish of cooked cornmeal, somewhat similar to Southern-style grits. It can be prepared in various consistencies and is a tasty accompaniment to hearty dishes like beef stew and short ribs. Polenta is also delicious enjoyed on its own as a breakfast cereal.
The creamy cornmeal mixture is easy to prepare and cooks quickly; if you prefer a thicker consistency, cook the polenta a bit longer. Adding some grated cheese brings extra flavor to this traditional dish. And any leftovers, which should be stored in the refrigerator, can be reheated in a variety of ways.
Gather the ingredients.
Place the cornmeal in a heavy stockpot.
Gradually add 2 cups of the water and the salt to the cornmeal, whisking the mixture as you add the water, until the cornmeal and water are well combined and free of any lumps.
Bring the remaining 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot.
Add the boiling water gradually to the cornmeal mixture while whisking.
Cook the cornmeal mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture reaches a gentle simmer.
Add the milk and butter and continue to cook over low heat, whisking, for 10 minutes longer.
Taste the polenta for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Add more liquid (milk, cream, or water) if the mixture seems too thick. If the mixture is too thin, cook the polenta a bit longer—watching carefully and stirring constantly to prevent sticking—until a desired consistency is reached. The mixture should be thick but will thicken even more as it cools.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar and Parmesan until they are melted and incorporated.
Serve the polenta warm with extra grated Parmesan cheese on the side.
How to Reheat Polenta
To reheat polenta back to a creamy consistency, heat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a bit of water or milk as needed until it reaches the desired texture.
Leftover Serving Tips
A great way to enjoy leftover polenta is to first spread the cooked polenta in a baking pan or baking sheet and chill. Then cut into squares or circles or any other shape. Sauté in butter for an excellent breakfast or side dish, or crisp them in a skillet—they will be very much like little arepas—and then top them with something tasty, like ají de gallina (poached chicken in a spicy and creamy nut-based sauce) or avocado salsa, for example, to make a nice little appetizer.