Friday, November 19, 2010

Foody Friday - Polenta (fancy for Cornmeal Mush)

When I was a kid my dad ate cornmeal mush whenever he could get it. Which meant he only ate it when my grandma made it for him.
Mush; cornmeal boiled in water and salt, poured into a bread pan, baked, sliced then eaten with butter and pancake syrup.

I never ate cornmeal mush as a kid, gross. I still don't. I mean, how bland can food get?

But Dad, today I apologize for sticking up my nose and one of your favorite dishes because I've discovered that cornmeal mush isn't so bad....if you doctor it up a bit.

So in steps a recipe for POLENTA. (Another recipe swiped from Purse Gurl's culinary cookbook by the way.)

In saucepan, combine 1 1/2 quarts of chicken broth, 1/2 cup butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat to a boil.

Next, SLOWLY pour in 2 cups of cornmeal while stirring slowly.

(I didn't pour it in slowly...stupid me dumped it in all at once and I had giant clumps. But I switched to a whisk and all was right with the world.)

Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until polenta is very thick. Stir constantly to prevent the bottom from sticking.

When the polenta is thick taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper).

Lightly oil a sheet pan with 1/2" - 3/4" high sides.
While hot spread the polenta onto the pan.
Allow to cool completely.
I cooked the polenta in the morning and stuck it in the fridge until I was ready to make dinner that evening.
When polenta is totally cooled cut into desired shapes. We used biscuit cutters and gingerbread men but it would be just as easy, with less waste, to cut the polenta into squares.

I let the boys spread pizza sauce and cheese on their gingerbread men. Yip and Yap always tend to eat new dishes better when they get to help prepare it.

I combined a can of diced tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of parsley. I sprinkled some shredded cheese on top of the polenta then added a spoonful of the tomato mixture on top.

Place polenta into a 350 degree oven and heat throughout, about 20 minutes or so. Serve warm.

Polenta was very good and very filling! Surprisingly leftovers heat up well too. Enjoy!

Yes Dad, I'm eating cornmeal mush. See? We're more alike than you thought!


  1. I'm so glad that someone else calls it cornmeal mush. My husband thinks I'm weird when I do that.

    My favourite way to cook polenta is to add cheese and eat it as it is still somewhat mushy. It makes it so creamy and delicious. Adding tomato sauce and cut up Italian sausages is good, too!

  2. Nice information here today. I enjoyed taking in the post.

  3. Okay, I was mistaken about cornmeal mush. This is what my dad had to say on my FB page;

    A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.The difference between Polento and Mush is that good mush is made from pork broth made from the pork bones after we butchered. Then of course it is fried in good ole lard or even better bacon grease. But when you cant get the real thing.even bland mush is better than none a...t all. But I am glad to see that you are feeding my grand kids corn,all my kids were corn fed and look how they turned out. LOVE DAD

  4. I could never understand how our Dad's ate that mush!! I just could never get into as much as they did. Uck, lol.


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