Saturday, November 7, 2015

Cheesy Polenta

This is my first foray in making polenta.  Polenta is from Central Europe.  It is made by boiling corn meal.  The origin of the word is the Latin word for hulled and crushed grain.

Before corn was introduced to Europe from the Americas, Europeans used millet, farro, chickpea, or spelt to make polenta.  

Historically only poor people ate polenta, and they ate lots it. Because of the nutritional components of corn based polenta, many poor people in the 20th century suffered from pellagra.

There are thousands of recipes for polenta online.  I chose one from, but all the recipes I saw were similar.  I used milk instead of cream and added cream cheese and nutmeg.

The ingredients are 2 cups milk, 2 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 cup polenta, 4 tablespoons butter, 1 cup white cheddar cheese, 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg.

I combined the milk, broth, salt, and polenta into a pot.

I brought the polenta up to a boil whisking constantly.  I reduced the temperature to low, covered the polenta with a lid, and cooked it for 20 minutes.  I stirred every four minutes.

I removed the polenta off of the burner after twenty minutes.  I added the butter, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, parmesan, and nutmeg.

I stirred until all the ingredients had melted into the polenta, and everything was well combined.

It had a thick consistency from all the cheese.  I can't eat enough cheese, so I enjoyed it.

It was creamy, smooth, and cheesy.  It stuck to your bones because it was so hearty and filling.

The nutmeg wasn't discernible, but I've heard it complements cheese well.

I'm pleased with my first polenta.  It was scrumptious.  Cheesy carbohydrates are the best comfort food around, and this dish didn't disappoint.  I ate it with gusto.

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