Tag Archives: polenta

I Think You Can in Europe

I have had different reactions to the recipes I’ve checked off the list thus far.  In some cases I’ve been underwhelmed,  (I’m looking at you, curry chicken).  In other cases, I have been pleasantly overwhelmed by the results (beef wellington!  Chicago Pizza!).

But polenta left me just whelmed.

In part, I blame Giada.  Her Everyday Italian cookbook has three different recipes for polenta.  So I figured, it has to be great.  At the same time, I knew it was simple, so it wasn’t going to blow my mind or anything.

Cornmeal and a Whisk...about all you need

Polenta is made by continuously whisking cornmeal and water over heat until its soft and thickened.   I remember watching this special episode of Iron Chef America where Mario Batali was on a team with Rachel Ray.  One of their menu items was polenta and Rachel Ray was confined to a single burner, endlessly stirring for the better part of the episode.  I found this strangely gratifying.

I love this picture....maybe the cornmeal was haunted!! OOOOooooOOOO

Anyway, you stir and stir and stir and cook until the cornmeal is tender.  Once cooked, I added cream, butter, and Gorgonzola cheese since I was serving as sort of a potato substitute alongside steaks with balsamic vinegar.  Stir to melt the cheese and that’s it.

The polenta was, well, fine.  The cheese was sharp and it was creamy and filling.  But Giada just seemed to promise me so much more which her description of the warm comforting goodness of an Italian staple.    Handsome Husband responded with a “It’s cornmeal…what were you expecting.” (shrugs shoulders)

Hence, I was whelmed.


We did determine that my polenta undertaking cost about $1.00, so I guess polenta has that going for it.  The low cost endeavor is a sharp contrast to this weekend’s Crown Roast Affair  (ahh, a clue!!), which requires some investment.   Apparently I also decided that investment = a title: A Crown Roast Affair.  Sounds very cosmopolitan.

See you on Monday,

xoxo The Flyover Foodie

p.s. Bonus points if you know the movie source of today’s blog title!

Polenta on FoodistaPolenta

The Polenta Search or “How I learned about an Italian staple”

“She did not so much cook as assassinate food.” – Author (Margaret) Storm Jameson

DISCLAIMER: If you are an experienced Italian chef, or have traveled Italy extensively,  or (just to be safe) if you are a part Italian, it’s probably best if you do not read the following post, lest you lose all faith in me.

A Healthy Reminder

A Healthy Reminder

Last night I was writing a grocery list while standing in front of the list of 30 Before 30 list taped on our fridge.  I have fallen slightly behind, so I wanted to buy ingredients for several dishes.  One of those dishes being polenta.

I had a basic idea of what polenta was and I’ve eaten it once.  Strangely enough, I do feel like it shows up on “Molto Mario” or even “Top Chef”  more often than it shows up on the average menu in flyover country .  Hence, my knowledge is limited.  That being said,  I couldn’t  find polenta at the grocery store.  I looked in the Italian section. Nothing. Then I looked by the grains and flours.  Nothing. I even asked the assistant manager where it was, saying, “Polenta….it’s like cornmeal”.

(Some of you are now shaking your heads.  I told you!)

Not only is polenta “like cornmeal” , um, it IS cornmeal. Riiiiiight.  Teachable moment: do your research.

Polenta is made from cooking cornmeal slowly with liquid until it becomes creamy.  It is very clear from even this (questionable) source and is pretty damn obvious from a cursory glance at this basic recipe.  (Shakes head).  Seriously.  I bet even the “Jersey Shore” kids know how to make polenta.

Ok, now I’m being hard on myself.

The elusive Polenta

SO: The good news is that I already have all the ingredients, so I can make polenta without further embarrassment (I hope).

The bad news is that I didn’t even make it 6 months on this blog without a Jersey Shore reference.

xoxo The Flyover Foodie