I told you I'd be back today! I bet you didn't believe me, did you? I've just finished eating a delicious vegetarian chili I made last night, but I'll save that recipe for tomorrow.
In the meantime I have a very good, very simple polenta recipe for you. I love polenta. I don't know if I've ever told you that, but I do. If I'm out at a restaurant and it's on the menu, you can bet I'm ordering it. The creamier and cheesier, the better. But the thing is, you don't have to add that much of either to make it creamy. In fact, I don't add any cream (or milk) at all.
You can serve it as a main course or a side dish, depending on what you're going for. Frankie's 570 (in Manhattan) and Frankie's 467 (in Brooklyn) serve the best polenta with sausage and red peppers that I've ever had. Tackling that in my own kitchen is on my to do list.
The best thing about polenta is that it takes relatively no time to make. Five minutes maximum, if you don't count the time it takes to boil the water. It gives me almost the same satisfaction as eating risotto, but takes about 1/6 of the time to make. And it was the perfect side to the Baked Halibut with Tomatoes, Capers and Onions that I made the other night.
Creamy Polenta with Pecorino Romano and Sage
Cooking time: 15 minutes
4 cups water
1 1/4 cups yellow corn meal
1-2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano
6 sage leaves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring water to a boil and then lower to simmer. Slowly pour in the corn meal while continually stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps. When all of the water is absorbed, add the butter and pecorino romano. Salt and pepper to taste and serve with sage and additional pecorino romano on top.