Creamy Parmesan Polenta

I always love ordering polenta at restaurants but have actually never made it myself.  This idea seems crazy to me, since it’s not a complicated dish and the simple fact that it is oh so delicious!  After a friend of mine asked if I had any good recipes for polenta and if I could blog about it, I went on a mission.  I went to my standby “How Easy is That?” cookbook, and of course, Ina had a great recipe waiting for me.  It was yummy and easy and it is going to go in the “trusty sides” stack (in my brain of course).

You will need:
4 cups chicken stock
4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground (I used Indian Head brand)
salt & pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling on top
1/4 half & half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place the stock and garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and very slowly whisk in the cornmeal, whisking constantly to make sure there are no lumps.  Switch to a spoon/spatula and add in salt & pepper.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so nothing sticks or burns.  Once the polenta is nice and thick, take off the heat and stir in the cheese, half & half and butter.  Taste for seasonings and serve with extra Parmesan on top!

*to keep warm if you’re timing isn’t right, you can put it in a baking dish and keep it in the oven at a low temperature til you are ready to serve!

Serves 6
Inspired by: Barefoot Contessa

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