Thursday, July 21, 2011

Polenta Parmigiana

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had plans for a polenta dish ... well, I finally got around to making it! It was fun, adventurous and in my opinion yummy! Handsome liked it despite the fact that it's not really his cup of tea. Naturally, the children did NOT like it, though I really hoped they would. It was a nice meal-in-one, since there are so many veggies in the marinara sauce. Salad and bread round it out nicely.

Basically, I just combined a few of my favorite elements into one dish. I made Braised Venison (cooked with onion, garlic, rosemary and balsamic vinegar), Marinara Sauce, and White Sauce (with Parmesan) and served them over a dish of creamy polenta.

If you're not familiar with it, polenta is a dish similar to grits, as it's made with cornmeal. It's creamier, though, because the corn is more finely ground. Here's the recipe I used to make this dish the other night:

Creamy Polenta

1 cup yellow cornmeal
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the chicken stock and milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Very slowly whisk in cornmeal, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce heat and continue whisking until liquid is absorbed and polenta is thickened. Add Parmesan, with salt and pepper to taste.

I used this simple version because the other elements in my meal had so much flavor. If you were serving the polenta as a side dish you'd probably want to punch up the flavor by adding in fresh herbs, cheese, or pesto.

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