I had only ever had the pre-made polenta in a tube in the past (very unsatisfying)… so when I received polenta with my porchetta on New Years eve at Charcut I was pleasantly surprised. The menu didn’t even say that the dish included polenta, so when I took a bite of the mushy stuff on my plate I had no idea what it was. It was the most unique and delicious, cheesy goodness I’d had in a long time. From there, I knew I had to make it.
I had cornmeal in my cupboard – but I have no idea how old it was LOL… I searched online for recipes, and found one I thought made sense to me. I revised it according to my needs: In the grocery store I couldn’t find creme fraiche, just double cream (which I think would have been fine?). The recipe also called for a lot of Parmesan cheese. So, I stood there, staring at the dairy section and the Philadelphia Cooking Creme stood out to me. Bingo! The three cheese flavour seemed perfect – taking the place of the creme fraiche and the cheese.
This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s ‘Creamy Parmesan Polenta’ on the Food Network website.
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt (the original recipe called for 1 Tbsp, and I found it quite salty)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tub Philadelphia Italian Three Cheese Cooking Creme (you could add more based on your taste)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Place the chicken stock in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over medium-high heat until the stock comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and very slowly whisk in the cornmeal, whisking constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Switch to a wooden spoon, add the salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring almost constantly, for 10 minutes, until thick. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan thoroughly while you’re stirring. Off the heat, stir in the Philly cooking creme and butter. Taste for seasoning and serve hot with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Read the original recipe at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/creamy-parmesan-polenta-recipe.html