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Trying polenta for the first time

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Old 03-13-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
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Default Trying polenta for the first time

I just bought some organic polenta in atube (thought I would try the pre-made first).

I know I cut it and pan-fry it (in Pam of course!)

Then what???

What are good toppings for polenta?
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:33 PM   #2
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Sauteed veggies. marinara sauce, fresh parmesan.. mmmm Add some chicken and you have a complete meal

You can top with goat cheese, olives, artichokes, red peppers

Swap out the veggies and/or types of cheese and you can have a whole other meal... lauaghing cow cheese would be good on it, feta.. I've heard of some people making a pizza crust out of polenta
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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I love a polenta "stack" with goat cheese, roasted red bell pepper, and fresh basil...mmm! Or you can just sprinkle with parmesan and basil.

Polenta will also work with any pasta-type sauce, particularly a good marinara.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:12 PM   #4
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I give it to my kids with just salt and pepper and they love it!
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:00 PM   #5
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I, too, have yet to try polenta! I posted a recipe for it titled Sara's Secrets Amazing Grains where Sara Moulton topped polenta with some grilled veggies that were marinated in balsamic vinegar. The pics don't do it justice. It looked sooooo good on the television screen!

I'm going to try some polenta this weekend. Good luck!
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:58 PM   #6
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I'm obviously new to whole foods: what is polenta?!
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:02 PM   #7
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here you go

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polenta

You can eat it soft, like it is in the picture, or let it cool in pan and then it gets very firm and you can slice it
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:31 PM   #8
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I rarely bother pan-frying my pre-cooked polenta, I just stick it in the microwave.

I love pre-cooked polenta topped with sauted chicken breast, sauteed spinach, and a tomato sauce.

I also love pre-cooked polenta with diced chicken, refried beans, and salsa. I put it all in a bowl together and pop it in the microwave. It is reminiscent of tamales.

Polenta is also great with eggs. Put one serving of polenta in an oven-proof ramekin, layer on diced ham and veggies of your choice, break a couple of eggs into the ramekin and top with 1 tbsp of fat free half and half (or milk of your choice). Bake at 375 until eggs are done to your liking. It will take at least 15 min and could take up to 30 min.

Speaking of tamales, you can make a great, low calorie, tamale pie with polenta:

Polenta Tamale Pie
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (at least 95% lean)
  • 1 cup diced onion (about 6 oz)
  • 1 cup diced red pepper (about 6 oz)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 14-oz can cream style corn (no added sugar) (or you can use 6 oz of frozen corn)
  • 1 tube pre-cooked polenta
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cheese

Saute ground beef, onions, peppers, and garlic over med-high heat. When meat is browned, add salsa, tomato sauce, cumin, chili power, and corn. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed (5 min or so).

Meanwhile, slice polenta as thinly as possible (you want at least 27 slices) and divide slices into three piles. If you have a cheese slicer, that works best for this.

Coat an 8-inch square casserole dish (should be at least 2.5 inches deep) with cooking spray. Spoon one-fourth of the meat mixture into the casserole dish. Top with one-third of the polenta. Continue layering one-fourth meat mixture with one-third polenta and finish with layer of meat mixture. Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees, until thorougly heated. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for another 5 min, until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 very satisfying servings @ about 260 calories per serving.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:09 PM   #9
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I rarely bother pan-frying my pre-cooked polenta, I just stick it in the microwave.
I have to pan fry it and/or broil it - I love it crispy golden grown and crunchy around the edges!!!
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:03 AM   #10
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Polenta looks like what being from W.Va, we would call corn meal mush. My Dad always made it when I was a kid. He would pour it into a loaf pan then chill and slice and fry it for breakfast, sometimes we would put syrup over it. It was good.
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Old 03-15-2008, 02:23 PM   #11
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It is the same thing! Well, if you do it from scratch, technically corn meal for polenta is ground finer, but regular works just fine.
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Old 03-15-2008, 02:47 PM   #12
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It is the same thing! Well, if you do it from scratch, technically corn meal for polenta is ground finer, but regular works just fine.
I buy dry polenta and it is coarse like grits, only yellow. Maybe the grind can vary or is it a regional thing?

I love polenta! I prefer it as mush though and I've never had it from the tube. It's so good drizzled with a little oilive oil with some roasted veggies and a sprinkle of cheese. So filling too.
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Old 03-15-2008, 04:25 PM   #13
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Hmmm, had to check other sources. Wikipedia says: Polenta is made with either coarsely, or finely ground dried yellow or white cornmeal (ground maize), depending on the region and the texture desired. It's all good, however it's ground.
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterRat View Post
It is the same thing! Well, if you do it from scratch, technically corn meal for polenta is ground finer, but regular works just fine.
Actually, it's the other way around. Polenta is the coarsest grind of cornmeal; corn meal for baking is ground finer. You can prepare either grind in the manner used for polenta, but fine ground cornmeal will have a smoother (or mushier) texture than coarse ground.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:18 PM   #15
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I had to join in this thread. MY grandmother use to make us cornmeal mush when we were sick. It was like a comfort food. I hadnt thought about it in years...thanks for the happy memories.
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might makes some tommorow...i have the flu
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