Mrs. Regueiro's Plate: Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Monday, November 29, 2010

Creamy Parmesan Polenta

I adore Italian food. That's such an understatement because if you know me I adore ALL food in general, but truthfully there are several Italian dishes that I absolutely fall head over heels over. Lasagna, ravioli, chicken Parmesan, risotto, gnocchi, pizza and the endless amounts of pasta dishes are a couple dishes that I have made in my kitchen. One dish that does not get made enough in my kitchen is Polenta. Polenta is a staple dish in Northern Italy and pairs well with heavier proteins like steaks, pork chops and short ribs.

I loved this recipe because it was so simple to prepare. This creamy Parmesan polenta is very light and fluffy like a cloud and incredibly creamy. Seriously you might eat the entire bowl if do not practice any restraint. The creamy consistency comes from the constant stirring because it helps the polenta not stick to the bottom of the pan almost like the risotto method. This utterly cheesy and fluffy heaven pairs perfectly with a hearty steak, tasty pork chops or even as the main attraction - just add some chopped up herbs and it's simply a perfect Italian plate. Yum!

Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is that?
Ingredients:
4 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 cloves
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

Preparation:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the chicken stock and garlic and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and slowly whisk in the cornmeal, make sure to whisk out any lumps.

Switch cooking utensils to a medium wooden spoon, and add the salt and pepper and bring to a simmer and stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick.

Turn off the heat, and add the Parmesan cheese, sour cream and butter. Mix everything until combined and taste for seasonings.

Serve warm and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese on top.
Review: My husband was surprised by how much he loved this polenta and said it reminded him of the dining experience that we had at Bottega a couple months ago. It tasted just as good, that's a high compliment and I remember trying to make a similar polenta with leeks and mushrooms to the one we had from Bottega, and the texture wasn't as creamy as this one. I also remember busting my butt to make that one, and this one was a little stress less. Thanks Ina for simplifying my cooking, you're such a lifesaver.
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