Skip to main content

Easy, Cheesy Baked Polenta

Polenta - coarse corn meal - is a family favorite. We eat it at breakfast with eggs; we eat it with sugo crudo, chunky tomato sauce, for dinner. But, I'll be honest, it's a pain to make. Stirring, stirring, and more stirring. It's more labor intensive than risotto.

And, then, there's the pot. Cooked polenta is like super glue. What you don't scoop out of the pot clings to the sides like, well, super glue. The only thing to do: fill up your pot with warm, soapy water and let it soak. If you think it's soaked long enough, soak it for another couple of hours.


But I bought a different brand of polenta yesterday to make my Food Matters Project Fresh Fig-Polenta Cake with Rosemary. And, tonight, when I was reading the recipes on the back, I saw - Enrico's Easy Polenta. I decided to give it a try. Of course I adapted it and changed the proportions a tad. But it was aptly named. It was easy. I might just be cured of my aversion to making polenta. Mix and bake. It's that easy. I have no idea who Enrico is, but if I met him, I might just have to kiss him!

2 C polenta
6 C warm water
2 T olive oil
freshly ground sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 T dried oregano
1 C shredded cheese
splash of olive oil

Butter a baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Then spoon everything into the baking dish. Bake for an hour, but stir it every twenty minutes. When it's finished, add 1 C shredded cheese - I used a mixture of asiago, parmesan, and mozzarella - and a splash of olive oil. Stir that together until the cheese is completely incorporated.

Spoon the polenta out onto a plate and top it with a little bit more salt and pepper to taste. Remember: whatever you don't eat for dinner, spoon into a clean, buttered pan. It can be sliced and lightly pan-fried in the morning to go under eggs. Che squisito!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P