With the unseasonably mild summer we’ve had and fall just over a month away, it’s time to start thinking about cozy suppers around the fireplace and all of those comfort foods that we haven’t thought about for months.
If you’re looking for a versatile new side dish to serve with just about any protein, polenta is a great choice. Polenta, basically Italian grits, can be made on the stove, baked or even fried.
The following recipe comes from Tulsa Platt culinary student, Heather Tisdale, who competed in a culinary competition at the Home and Garden Expo in Tulsa at the end of July. Winning the adult division, she impressed the judges with her delicious, cheesy polenta recipe. Accompanying a rich, succulent duck breast with cherry sauce and roasted vegetables, this creamy polenta was the perfect foil.
While the polenta is easy to make, Heather suggests being patient and stirring the mixture until it’s thick.
Creamy Ricotta Cheddar Polenta
Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pour stock/broth into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and slowly whisk in the cornmeal until it is completely dissolved.
Continue to cook over low heat stirring frequently until polenta thickens and removes from the sides of the pan.
Add ricotta, cheddar, paprika, and cream to polenta and stir until combined and creamy. More heavy cream may be added as needed to develop a creamy texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.