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Creamy Oven Baked Polenta

If stone ground grits had a sexy cousin, her name would be 'Polenta'. She is smoother than her cousin,  more refined if you will.  Polenta is exactly that. A super finely ground corn.  Most people here in the south did NOT grow up with it. We are told it is popular in Italian families and is common in certain areas of Europe.  A few northern customers at the farmers market jokingly call them "yankee grits". What ever you call them, they are delicious. Serve them warm and creamy, just like you would grits. (I'll post the beef brisket recipe soon. We spoon the braised brisket over creamy polenta.) Or chill it once cooked, cut it, lightly dredge it in flour and pan sear it. What ever you do, DO NOT be tempted to buy that weird tube of polenta at the grocery store. You deserve better than that!

Here is a polenta recipe you can walk away from. No need to be stuck at the stove stirring.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit
  • Bring 4 1/2 cups water to a boil (you could always substitute broth here)
  • add a generous pinch of kosher salt and 1 tablespoon butter
  • stir in 1 cup Colonial Milling Polenta
  • stir constantly for 2 minutes, then place in the oven covered to finish
  • Bake 25-30 minutes. Finish with 4 ounces Parmesan or Gruyere cheese. If it is too thick, I add a splash of milk or cream and mix to the desired consistency.

If there are any leftovers (unlikely) slice the cooled polenta with a knife or cookie cutter, lightly dredge in flour and pan sear over medium high heat. They will be crispy on the outside and smooth and creamy in the middle. (uh,yes, please) Serve with...anything! I like to serve with collard greens and bacon wrapped pork tenderloin in the fall. Now, go! Get cooking my friends!

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