"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Creamy Parmesan Polenta

I don't know why I don't make polenta more often. I always love it when I eat it--in fact, I love anything that's made with cornmeal, pretty much. I guess since my husband is always going for the low-carb diet plan, I don't purposefully seek out recipes that involve them. Regular readers are no doubt laughing and thinking of all my posts on desserts but that's for work, you smart-asses! :-)

But every once in a while Teena over at the Gourmet Project moons over "Hot, mushy carbohydrates" and the recipes that feature them (for example, this one) and I think about how derelict I've been in my duty towards the Grains and Beans chapter.

So to go with last night's beef stew I decided to make Creamy Parmesan Polenta.

The only trouble I had with this dish is that it asks you to pour the cornmeal into the boiling water in a thin stream. Well, even with a measuring cup with a lip, my experience went something like this: ssssssssssss(thin stream)glump!(massive cornmeal dump)ssssssssssssss(thin stream)glump! glump! (there goes the rest of it)

When cornmeal enters the water en masse it kind of makes a dumpling of itself--a lot of dry cornmeal on the inside, trapped there by an outer seal of wet cornmeal.

Out came the whisk, and I beat the bejeezus out of it, which I'm sure greatly decreased the life-span of the nonstick surface on that pot.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you don't have to stand there and stir it for an hour--just every ten minutes for an hour. And it stays covered, so you don't get polenta spattered all over the kitchen.

Now--people--a cup of parmesan cheese is going to make anything taste awesome, and this side dish was no exception.

Here it is, solo on the plate:

and here it is with the beef stew:

What a combination. By the way--although the beef stew recipe was not in The Gourmet Cookbook, it was from Epicurious, so if you want to reproduce this meal, here it is.


The Mediocre Cook said...

I've really got to give polenta a try. I've never had it and it does sound like such a tasty dish!

Liz C said...

Mmmm... polenta! I love it but rarely make it - thanks for reminding me. And I had never thought to put beef stew on it.