Thursday, April 14, 2011

Staple Recipe: Creamy Crockpot Polenta

Please excuse the fact that there is no picture of this recipe, I forgot to take one, but I was so excited about it that I couldn't wait until I made it again to post about it!

I have always struggled with polenta. I dislike instant polenta's texture and I find the fact that I have to babysit and stir regular polenta for 35-40 minutes tedious in the extreme.

I have now found the perfect solution! Regular polenta cooks up creamy, smooth and amazing in a slow cooker. I've adapted this recipe from one in The Italian Slow Cooker. Made as posted, this recipe is suitable for toddlers over 1 year but you can make it with all water and serve to babies over 10  months. This is a recipe for basic polenta, but you are really hindered only by your imagination with this one -- I've posted a couple simple variations at the bottom to get you started. Polenta is a great side-dish and is especially good with a meat or mushroom ragu as is, but you can also spread it out on an oiled baking sheet, chill, and cut into diamonds or rectangles and then bake or grill them and use for snacks or as bases for appetizers.

 Creamy Crockpot Polenta

- 1 cup coarsely ground corn meal (the old-fashioned kind NOT instant or 
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk

Stir all ingredients together in a large slow cooker. 

Cook on high covered for 2 hours, stirring once halfway through. At the end or the 2 hours, give it another good stir and check if it needs more liquid -- if so add a little water or milk to thin. Let cook another 30 minutes until thick and creamy. Serve hot.

* Makes 6 adult-sized servings
* Polenta will keep in the fridge for 3 days but is best freshly made.


Add chopped fresh sage along with 1/4 cup grated asiago and 1/4 grated parmesan....YUM

For breakfast: Top with milk, cream, or yogurt, honey or maple syrup, and fresh or dried fruits

Share your favorite variations!


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