So now that I am back to blogging, I am also back to my goal of
becoming a well-adjusted adult learning to cook awesome stuff. As such, I came up with a bunch of cool “lessons” to teach myself important basics.
Today, we plunge into polenta!
I’ve only ever tried to make polenta once before, but after the horrid giant yellow clump of cement I ended up with, I was sort of terrifed to ever venture in this direction again.
Stir to avoid clumps? How can I do that when it just turned into one giant clump instantaneously?!
(Deep Breath) But, today, I can happily say I learned how to sort of make polenta.
Then i topped it with my favorite: roasted vegetables!
Roasted vegetables pretty much make everything amazing, and are a savory secret weapon of mine to spice up recipes. I figured if I couldn’t get the polenta to work right, I would at least have awesome roasted asparagus, mushrooms, and tomatoes to comfort myself with afterwards.
For my first experiment with polenta, I chose to work from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I loved loved LOVED his homemade chicken stock recipe, and it was so easy to follow that I figured if anyone could teach me how to make polenta, he could.
It sort of worked; I mean I eneed up with creamy polenta and it his “slurry” method works rather well…
it’s so sensitive!
I mean seriously, stirring constantly is an understatement. It should really read “stir vigorously, stir like it will save YOUR LIFE FROM ZOMBIES!”
Also, it sort of stiffens up immediately so you should eat it ASAP. It’s delicious, and it works splendidly with the roasted veggies, but I’m sort of concerned that I, perhaps, am not a fan of polenta?
(sounds of shock and concern)
Of course I am going to follow through with my polenta experiments, but maybe I am just a grits gal. (Shrimp and Grits are my LIFE!)
Well, we will see. Here’s the recipe through in case you are a polenta fanatic; it’s a fantastic way to use up any leftover vegetables you have lying around or any great roastable steals you find at the Farmers’ Market.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you Monday with a new muffin recipe!
Polenta with Roasted Asparagus, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms
for roasted vegetables:
- 8 oz baby bella or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cleaned
- 1 pint container cherry tomatoes, halved
- a few tbsps of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup plus 2-3 additional cups water as needed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line one large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Add mushrooms, asparagus, and tomatoes to cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and top with salt and pepper, then toss to coat evenly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Whisk together cornmeal and one cup warter to form a “slurry” and add to medium saucepan. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, then lower to medium heat and simmer for 15-25 minutes, stirring constantly and adding water in 1/2 cup incremements as needed to keep it soupy (approx 2 1/2 more cups).
- Polenta is done when “it just begins to pull away from the edges of the pan and is no longer gritty”.
- Spoon polenta into bowls, top with roasted vegetables, and serve!
Serves 4 (or two generously!)
Polenta Recipe Via Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
All Photos, Recipes (Unless Otherwise Specified) And Writing Copyright © 2013 Jessica Gonzalez | On Sugar Mountain