June 17, 2008

Savory Polenta!

I love polenta any way you slice it (or not)! This recipe was a great accompaniment to the pork belly I made last week. It was easy, I only had to use the oven in our guest apartment since the main oven was being used for the pork (which is why some of the photos don't look like the ones that are taken in my regular kitchen). The recipe is Emeril's. As much as I hate to admit it, I have noticed over the years that some of the recipes on the Food Network's website work out better for me than others, and those that do are overwhelmingly Emeril's recipes. So here's to Emeril!

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for grilling or sauteing if desired
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large, oven-safe saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and salt and sweat until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.

Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken stock, bring to a boil.

Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once you have added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every
10 minutes to prevent lumps.

Once the mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add the butter, salt, and pepper. Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan.

Serve as is, or pour the polenta into 9 by 13-inch cake pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Once set, turn the polenta out onto a cutting board and cut into squares, rounds, or triangles. Brush each side with olive oil and saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, or grill.

You can add herbs and spices more or less to your liking. I would add a little less garlic next time. I have plenty of coarse ground corn meal left and will be making polenta again soon. This was different for us, we've had polenta at restaurants but never at home. After reading Bill Buford's book, Heat, I have been thinking about polenta a lot. I'm glad Emeril had this simple recipe, it sure beats what Mr. Buford went through...and the eggs.


nunu said...

I'm embarrassed to admit this...since I "claim" to be a foodie...but I have NEVER had polenta.

Matin said...

I've never tried polenta but my Mum is a big fan and your recipe looks great. So maybe I should give it a go:-)
Thanks for sharing