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Old 05-23-2012, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Polenta

I've never eaten it or cooked it but I was interested in trying it. Any good suggestions/recipes? I am looking for simple ideas to get a feel for the food first......or should I just stay away?

thanks!
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I love polenta, but I don't eat it that often (kinda high in carbs, which I try to keep under control).

There 2 basic kinds, a soft polenta much like southern grits and a firm variety that I really can't think of a food to compare it to.

The firm polenta can be bought in a tube from the store. Sometimes they put it in the chilled food area and sometimes not. The firm variety is wonderful grilled, served with a meat dish that has a sauce. People also use it in place of pasta for lazagna. I find it a bit dry w/o some sort of topping. You can also make it yourself by allow the soft type to set in a baking pan for a couple of hours in the fridge.

The soft type can be served in place of rice, pasta, or potatoes. I definitely prefer the original over the "quick polenta". It takes a while to cook and needs pretty constant stirring, but tastes much better. Like all the other starches you can add all kinds of stuff, mushrooms, garlic, herbs and veggies. And like mashed potatoes is a perfect foil for gravy

Some people find it a little bland, but I like to think of it as a conveyor for other flavors, just like pasta.
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Polenta ideas

I make mine with some sauteeed garlic, add some Mr. Dash Italian seasoning and a little chicken broth (low salt/no salt) for flavor.

After cooking I spread it in a glass casserole to firm up. Once firm I add sauteed veggies and a little cheese(low fat/low salt) to the top and place in oven to get hot and melt the cheese a little.

This is great as a meat free main dish, or a side. I take it for lunch during the week and it is quite satisfying and filling.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info! I bought a pre-made "log" of polenta to try it out. I heated a slice in a pan and added a little roasted red pepper and cheese on top. It was pretty mushy, but filling and tasty. Thanks again!
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yum! I usually do the "log" type too, though I have about 6 pounds of bulk dry polenta in my pantry. I like to drizzle a little olive oil over the log slices, add some sauteed spinach, portabella mushroom, and onions and then top with shaved fresh Parmesan. Broil in the oven until the cheese gets all melty. Guaranteed to impress guests!
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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mmmmm... Sailor, that sounds yummy!
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