Before I made this recipe, I thought polenta only came in a tube.
I had never prepared polenta at all until I made this simple Nourishing Traditions recipe. It turned out to be a very good side dish, and the kids loved it. The husband, not so much, but you can’t have everything, can you? One of my daughters called this ‘corn mac & cheese’ because it had a lot of the flavor of mac & cheese without the macaroni; therefore, it’s gluten free!
The preparation of this reminded me of risotto. You stir cornmeal that has been soaked overnight (in lime water) with broth until it becomes a creamy consistency. Flavoring with cheese and butter, of course. For those that can tolerate grains, this makes a tasty and healthy side dish and is a good alternative to potatoes or rice when properly prepared.
I chose to grind my own organic whole corn to make the cornmeal for this dish, and then soak it in lime water. I love my grain mill, see my resources page for good sources. But you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. Just soak your purchased organic cornmeal in the lime water and proceed with the recipe, it will still be very good! Or if you purchase cornmeal that is labeled ‘masa’ it has already been soaked.
Tips for making Homemade Polenta
- If your polenta is more brown than the picture, do not despair! It’s probably because your chicken broth is brown, and that’s ok. Roasted broth has more flavor.
- Use fresh herbs with this if you have them on hand – add at the end of cooking.
Rating: 3 forks (key) husband liked the taste but not the texture
Page in NT: 487
- 2 cups freshly ground cornmeal
- 1 cup lime water
- 4 tablespoons whey or yogurt
- 3 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons sea salt (check my resources page)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped, and sautéed in a little butter (optional)
- 2 tablespoon dried tomato bits, sautéed with the onions (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
Soak cornmeal in lime water for about 7 hours.
Add whey or yogurt, cover and leave in a warm place at least 12 hours. Bring water or chicken stock and salt to a boil. Slowly add soaked cornmeal, stirring constantly with a whisk. Lower heat and continue stirring for another 15 to 30 minutes until liquid is reduced and polenta is so thick it comes away from the sides of the pan. Stir in cheese and optional ingredients and pour into a buttered 9-inch by 13-inch pyrex dish. Bake at 300 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours.
Polenta Triangles: Cut chilled leftover polenta into triangles and sauté in lard or a mixture of butter and extra virgin olive oil.
Photo courtesy of @rgson Flickr
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