Sunday, May 7, 2017

One of My Favorite Side Dishes--Cheesy Polenta

This might have been posted a little sooner, but Blogspot has removed the ability to schedule posts, which was one of my favorite features. This recipe already went out to two very special people already, and I hope all my readers enjoy it.

An easy meal I put together sometimes is sausage and peppers. If you're cutting back on fat, there are chicken varieties out there that are loads better than they were ten or even five years ago.

Pasta is a common side dish, but we ended up having pasta the previous evening and I always have quick-cooking polenta in the house. For the two servings today (and then I made another batch because yum), ingredients were as follows:

  • 1/4 cup of quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 cup of tomatoes--I used half sun-dried and half fresh
  • 1/2 cup of milk or cream
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese--I used Grana Padano, which is a relative of Parmesan and quite tasty
  • 1 Tablespoon capers, drained, rinsing optional (I love brine).
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano

Cook polenta according to package directions adding the butter when you stir the polenta into the water. When the polenta is cooked, leave the heat on low and stir in milk using a fork until there are no lumps. Add the tomatoes and spices, then stir in the cheese. Stir until the cheese is absorbed. Add capers and stir again, serve.

Yes, I used the word stir 5 times. You need to do it constantly because polenta will like to clump and we can't have that.

Leftovers can be fried for a delicious change in texture if you make more. 

I plan a variation as a side dish with steak or chicken. I figure sharp cheddar, green onions, and bacon will work really well with the tomatoes. 

If you try this, let me know!