My most recent adventure occurred because a bag of polenta that I was storing in the freezer split open, making an annoying mess in the bottom of the freezer. As I cleaned up the tiny specks of corn grits while on my hands and knees, I thought "now why was that at the bottom of the freezer anyway - you should use it!"
I love the fresh corny taste and smell of polenta, love it. In the past we've cooked it up and put it in a loaf pan, slicing off portions to fry in olive oil with eggs or just by itself. This time, I decided to use it as a "bedding" for a dinner meal, cooking it to a soft consistency.
I really like Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Polenta.
Now that we are using it more, I order it with our monthly subscription on Amazon, and its an excellent deal that way (free shipping too!)
The polenta takes about 45 minutes to cook thoroughly, so start with that.
Enough Polenta for two people:
1/2 cup Bob's red Mill Gluten Free Polenta
2 1/4 cup water
Heat the water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, and while its warming up, stir in the dry polenta. A general rule of thumb for good polenta is one part polenta to four parts water. I use extra water because we live at 8500 feet elevation and grains always take a bit longer to cook, and use a little more water.
Cover with the lid slightly ajar, and cook over medium heat, stirring every few minutes to keep it from sticking (it will stick a little bit anyway, but stirring will help).
About 20 minutes or so after you start the polenta, cook up the goodies you are going to top it with. The first time I made this dish, I used bell peppers, onions, garlic, green chilies, and duck eggs.
We keep chickens and ducks, and have a large number of eggs this time of year. Duck eggs have a richer and stronger flavor than chicken eggs and I generally don't like them for breakfast. But for dinner with the other ingredients, they were perfect!
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Red bell pepper
1 Yellow bell pepper
1/2 White onion
1/2 cup 505 Green chilies
2 cloves garlic
2 duck eggs
1 Tablespoon butter
Chop the bell pepper and onions and mince the garlic, set aside. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet, and starting with the bell peppers, add them to the oil and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the onions and stir, sauté this mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions start to soften. Add the garlic and lightly brown it, then add the green chilies. When everything is combined and nicely bubbling, reduce the heat and start the eggs in another small skillet. (Don't forget the stir the polenta occasionally while you are doing all of this!)
Cook the eggs in a small skillet in the butter. I did ours over easy-ish, but you can cook them any way you prefer.
The polenta should be done by around now. You can tell its done if it has thickened nicely and the individual granules are not visible because they have dissolved and cooked completely.
Spoon the polenta into bowls, and top with the veggies and eggs. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, and slices of avocado. Salt and pepper to taste.
Polenta with Veggies and Duck Eggs
You can easily add chicken, sausage, beef strips or anything else you'd like to this. It was surprisingly hearty and delicious with the eggs, and made a very nice low cost, nutritious and satisfying dinner.