"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."

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--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.

2 comments:

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.