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CREAMY ITALIAN POLENTA

Yeahhh….I had a day off to cook something new!  With it still being September, our tourists are still here so work is still quite busy.  But today I had a day off…time to head into the kitchen.

Merciful heavens….this was one delicious dish.  I have never made a savory Polenta dish before – so so good!  Jamie Oliver has often said he was born in the wrong country (meaning he should have been born in Italy)….I think I am with him on this one.

As kids growing up, we would have creamed corn meal breakfast cereal – give me savory any day!  We had this dish with my Breakfast Sausage  With Tomato Rosemary Sauce meal – only here I used  Italian Dinner sausages – a marriage made in heaven.

This is a dish I will make time and time again. While the Italian Sausage with Tomato Rosemary Sauce was in the oven, it was perfect timing to make the Italian Polenta.  I really, really recommend making both of these dishes – they are perfect for each other – and true Italian at it’s best.

DH was away this nite and missed out.  He was jealous…..don’t blame him I would be too.

Creamy Italian Polenta:

2 shallots, finely minced

2 large garlic cloves, finely minced

2 Tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3  1/2 cups chicken stock, reserve 1/2 cup

3/4 cup Polenta/corn grits

8 sun dried tomatoes (in oil, blot off oil with a paper towel, then finely chop)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup aged Cheddar Cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil

salt and fresh cracked pepper

This is the Polenta/corn grits I used – Gluten Free of course:

Heat up a large dutch oven on medium low heat with the olive oil.  Add in the chopped shallots and garlic, sauteing a few minutes until translucent.  Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Pour in 3 cups of chicken stock, and add the sun dried tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer, then add in the polenta.

Stir quite frequently on a low heat.  After 20 minutes, add in 1/4 of the reserved 1/2 cup of chicken stock.  Bring back to the simmer, stirring.  At the 30 min. mark add in the rest of the stock.  Bring to a simmer stirring well.  When more thickened add in the grated cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese stirring well to combine.  Add in the minced Basil and remove from the heat.  Serve with extra minced Basil on top and if making the Italian Sausage with Rosemary Sauce, add that on top of the polenta.  You will not be disappointed…that is a promise!

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