|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. Polenta is also delicious on its own as a breakfast cereal.
Polenta is easy to prepare and cooks quickly. Cook the polenta a bit longer if you prefer a thicker consistency. Grated cheese adds extra flavor to this traditional dish.
Save any leftovers in the refrigerator. Polenta is easy to reheat, and you can do that in several ways.
- Chilled polenta can be cut into squares–or any shape–and sautéed in butter for an excellent breakfast or side dish.
- Or you can cut chilled polenta into small circles and crisp them in a skillet—they will be very much like little arepas—and then top them with something tasty, like aji de gallina or avocado salsa, for example, to make a nice little appetizer. If you spread the polenta into a thin layer in a pyrex dish while it is warm, it will be easier to cut into circles.
- To reheat polenta back to a creamy consistency, heat it gently on the stove or microwave, adding a bit of water or milk as needed until it reaches the desired consistency.
Gather the ingredients.
Place cornmeal in a heavy stockpot.
Gradually add 2 cups water and salt to cornmeal, whisking mixture well as you add water, until cornmeal and water are well-mixed and free of any lumps.
Bring remaining 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot.
Add boiling water gradually to cornmeal mixture, whisking at same time.
Turn on stovetop to medium-low and cook cornmeal mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, until mixture comes to a gentle simmer.
Add milk and butter and continue to cook over low heat, stirring, for 10 minutes longer.
Taste polenta for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Add more liquid (milk, cream, or water) if mixture seems too thick. If the mixture is too thin, cook polenta a bit longer–watching carefully and stirring constantly to prevent sticking–until desired consistency is reached. The mixture should be thick but will thicken even more as it cools.
Remove from heat and whisk in cheddar and Parmesan until are melted and incorporated. Serve polenta warm with extra grated Parmesan cheese on the side.