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Baked Polenta

(recipe, Caroline Cummins)

Introduction

This dish is based on a Paula Wolfert recipe. It's a much easier way of producing a pan of soft, creamy polenta than standing over a stove, stirring till your arm falls off. You can use nearly any proportion of liquid you like, but keep in mind that while using only water is fine, using only milk or only stock will produce an excessively rich polenta.

Ingredients

  1. 1 Tbsp. butter
  2. 1 cup cornmeal (medium or coarse grind)
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. ½ tsp. dried herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or marjoram (optional)
  5. 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  6. 2 cups milk
  7. 2 cups water
  8. 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use the butter to grease a heavy baking dish about 7 by 11 inches in size.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and stir to evenly distribute the cornmeal.
  3. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes. Stir the mixture, then bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring perhaps once more, until the polenta is cooked but still soft and creamy.
  4. Serve immediately, or let cool until the polenta has set more firmly, then cut into wedges to serve.

Note

You can prepare this dish in advance and store it in the fridge until you need it. Cut the cooled polenta into squares or triangles and reheat in the oven or pan-fry for serving.