What’s Delicious, Easy to make and Totally Cheap? Polenta!

Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

Let’s talk about polenta! Polenta is a versatile staple made from ground corn that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

It can be seasoned sweet or savory. It can be served soft, like mashed potatoes, or cooled and sliced into pieces. It can even be baked crisp into fries!

 

Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

Also, polenta is great to serve to a crowd because polenta is very inexpensive, can be made dairy free, is vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. (Only corn allergies need apply!)

 

Here’s the simplest recipe for making polenta.  There are so many wonderful things you can do with this amazing food and at 20 cents per one cup serving; you can afford to try them all!

 

SIMPLE POLENTA

 

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 8

 

Here’s the recipe for the simplest polenta. It’s made with salted water and a bit of butter. Made this way it’s about 20 cents per one cup serving. It doesn’t get much more frugal and fabulous than that.

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter

 

Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

Here’s How:

  1. Bring the water to a boil and add the salt then reduce the heat to low.Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  2. Add the cornmeal in a steady slow stream whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
  3. Keep stirring on low heat until it’s really thick. Be careful because it will bubble and splash! This might take 20 minutes or so.
  4. Add the butter as it thickens. You can tell it’s done when it pulls away from the sides of the pot.Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

When it’s ready you can serve it right from the pot or spread in a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow it to cool.

 

THAT’S IT!!! No baking, nothing… let it sit about 10 minutes before cutting it into squares. Cut pan into 12-15 squares. You can top polenta with all kinds of good stuff!! Divalicious!

 

This simple polenta is a perfect side dish for London BroilEverything you need to know to make tender, juicy London broil steak. It’s easy, delicious and cheap!

 

 

CREAMY PARMESAN POLENTA

 

Time: 20 minutes  Yield: 4 generous servings

 

If you’ve never tried polenta this is the recipe to make. It’s AMAZING. Caps lock justified. Polenta fit for company but so easy you’ll make it any day of the week.

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⅓ cups cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 oz. cream cheese – cut into pieces
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

 

Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

 

Here’s How:

 

  1. In a large sauce pan; bring the water and milk to a boil. Add salt and reduce heat to LOW.
  2. Add the cornmeal in a steady slow stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Keep stirring on low heat until thickened. Be careful because it can bubble and splash!
  3. Switch to a wooden spoon and add the butter, cream cheese, and parmesan. Keep stirring. You can tell it’s done when it pulls away from the sides of the pot. THAT’S IT!!! Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Serve immediately.  Or make the recipe below.

 

These would be AMAZING served with polenta as an appetizer or first course – Bacon LollipopsGrilled appetizer kabob that’s sweet, savory, smoky, crunchy, chewy and addictive. It’s all the things! Perfect for your next BBQ!

 

 

MUSHROOMS, TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA POLENTA STACKS

Time: 30 minutes   Yield: 4 servings

 

Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

 

 What You’ll Need:

 

  • One recipe Creamy Parmesan Polenta – above
  • 1 tablespoon each; butter and olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic – minced
  • 16 oz. mushrooms – sliced
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese

 

Here’s How:

 

  1. Prepare polenta as directed above and pour onto a sheet pan, spread evenly to about ½ inch thick, and cool until firm enough to slice.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil.  Sauté 1 teaspoon minced garlic until fragrant.Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  3. Add 16 oz. of mushrooms and sauté until golden. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and set aside. 
  4. Slice 16 thin rounds of tomato and slice mozzarella into 8 thin slices.Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  5. Slice the polenta into 8 squares approximately 4” by 4” or use a small bowl to cut rounds. You will have leftover pieces. Sorry, you’ll have to eat them later.Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  6. Place slices on a baking sheet and top with mushrooms, tomato and mozzarella. Place under the broiler until cheese is melted.Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  7. Stack two polenta slices as shown in photo. Top with fresh herbs if desired.

 

Polenta can be served plain or gussied up with toppings.

 

Everything you need to know about polenta! This delicious, versatile dish that can serve as an appetizer, side or main dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

What else can you add to polenta, you ask?

 

More butter, cream, toasted nuts, honey, maple syrup, jams or preserves, poached eggs, fresh herbs, cinnamon, brown sugar, caramelized onions, sour cream, salsa, any kind of cheese, beef ragu, pulled pork, bacon crumbles or diced ham.

 

Now, you can pay for pre-made polenta in a roll – but please don’t! I will have to smack your snout with a rolled-up newspaper and say, “Bad Diva!”.

 

It’s so easy to make yourself, it’ll taste much better at a fraction of the cost. Good Diva.

 

You may also like:  What to do with a perfectly ripe tomato? Make a Tomato and Onion Tart     What in the World is a Zoodle?     Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats – This’ll float your boat! 

 

 

 

 

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About the author

I’m penny pinching, party planning Diva Patti AKA Patti Diamond and I’ve been saving the world one dime at a time for years.

Divas are rich even when they’re broke because they know life isn’t about money. I’m here to show you that you don’t have to spend a lot to live a life filled with style, elegance and grace.

My spirit animal is bacon and vodka. I can have two animals, right?

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