Last updated on August 8th, 2017 at 11:38 am
Creamy Polenta – easy to make and a great complement to any meal.
So it’s almost the middle of April and while other places are enjoying wonderful warm spring weather, we are going through a snow storm. That’s Calgary for you, yesterday was warm, beautiful and sunny and today it looks like Christmas outside. If you don’t believe me, check out the picture I just took outside. I struggled a bit with taking the picture because I wanted to capture the large snowflakes. They are the biggest snowflakes I have ever seen, they are bigger than a loonie and it’s coming down like somebody up there is pouring buckets of snow. As beautiful as it is, I’m afraid if it keeps up, we’ll have 3 feet of snow by tomorrow. These are the days when I thank my lucky stars that I don’t have a big commute to and from work anymore.
But I digress.
Polenta! Where do I begin? Polenta, or “Mamaliga” as we call it in Romania is such a traditional food in so many countries. The word itself is an Italian word, derived from Latin. Polenta is usually made with water and cornmeal. It’s very simple to make a basic Polenta. In Romania there are many versions of Polenta, depending on which part of the country you are from. One way I grew up eating it is with layers of feta cheese and bacon, you can find the recipe here.
In Romanian cuisine, Polenta is enjoyed as a bread substitute most of the time, but as I mentioned above there are many ways in which it can be eaten. Italians on the other hand make it a bit differently, instead of water they cook it with milk or cream and they add Parmesan to it. This is the recipe I decided to do this time. I have to say I really enjoyed the creaminess of this polenta and it was also very flavorful from the Parmesan cheese. But I love Parmesan cheese, I know some people don’t so much, I guess they don’t like the smell of it. If you buy the good Parmesan cheese and grate it yourself, it actually smells wonderful.
I decided to bake this polenta and then cut it in slices. It makes a wonderful snack, a great appetizer idea or even as a side dish. Polenta is something I grew up eating, and it’s one of those dishes are close and dear to my heart.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup corn meal
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, add the milk, half-and-half, the butter, and cornmeal. Season with salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly to keep the mixture lump-free. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the mixture has thickened enough so that polenta pulls easily and cleanly from the side of the pot. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture into a buttered 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish, spread it evenly and bake it for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is slightly golden brown.