Monday, January 19, 2009

Two-Corn Polenta with Tomatoes and Basil

I don't know how I ended up with so much corny stuff on the menu in the last couple days. Last night corn bread and tonight polenta with even more corn? I try to vary what goes in our tums over the course of a week, but guess there must have been some craving I wasn't wholly (brain is so dying...I had to look up how to spell wholly!) conscious of when menu planning this week. This wonderful recipe was adapted from Cooking Light, but I used Bob's Red Mill medium grind cornmeal in place of the instant polenta they use. Link to the original recipe if you want to use the instant, but I tend to like a less pablum-like polenta, hence the whole-corn medium grind cornmeal sub.

Served this topped with broiled tilapia (lightly rub with a touch of olive oil, then sprinkle both sides with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Broil on high for 5 minutes the first side, and then 3-5 min. on the second side), and yet another arugula salad, because we're elitists.

Two-Corn Polenta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Cheese:

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (2 medium)
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off the cob
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup medium grind whole-corn cornmeal
1/2 cup (~1.5 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
kosher salt if needed
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
chopped tomato
chopped fresh basil

Heat oven to 350.
In a 3 qt. oven proof saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and saute onion for 8 minutes or until tender, adding garlic for the last minute.
Add chicken broth and corn and bring to a boil.
Slowly add cornmeal, whisking all the while to prevent lumps.
Cover and put in the oven for 40 minutes total, whisking every 10 minutes to prevent lumps.
When your polenta is done in the oven, slowly incorporate the grated cheese.
Add salt (if needed) and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle each serving with tomatoes and basil.

I cooked the polenta uncovered on the stovetop after taking it out of the oven, but before adding the cheese. Just for the duration of the fish broiling, stirring frequently.

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