A few months ago I visited Eataly in Chicago. While there, I experienced Polenta for the first time. It was smothered in cheese and a mushroom ragu. After that trip, I promptly purchased a small package of dry Bob’s Red Mill polenta intent on crafting a memorable throwback to my Eataly adventure. The bag of polenta sat on my pantry shelf, then my freezer shelf, for weeks… The dirty truth is that polenta scared me – oh the time commitment! the bag of ground up corn! the thought of me standing over a stove for hours only to fail miserably!
I am writing this post to dispel the polenta fiction in the world. Making polenta is actually quite simple. I (sort of) followed the directions on the package with a few of my own modifications. The only ‘work’ involved is stirring.
A Simple Polenta Dish with Fontina and Romano Cheese
3 c. low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional)
1 c. polenta (stone ground – I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1.5 T unsalted butter
1/2 c. Fontina cheese
3 T. Romano cheese
Bring chicken broth and sea salt (if using) to a boil in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan over high heat. Slowly, stir in polenta. Reduce heat to low and stir frequently, about 30 minutes. Stir in unsalted butter. Then, stir in the Fontina until melted.
Spray an 8″ pie plate or low, shallow bowl with cooking spray. Pour cheesy polenta into the greased pie plate and spread evenly. Let stand 10 minutes. If you would like to be fancy, invert the pie plate onto a flat serving plate or cutting board. Sprinkle with Romano cheese and slice into wedges.
I used Bob’s Red Mill Yellow “Corn Grits” also known as “Polenta.” I’m calling it Polenta because this is an Italian inspired dish. The polenta I purchased includes the bran and the germ. It is delicious!