That’s all a grit is, a vehicle. For whatever it is you rather be eating.
― Kathryn Stockett, The Help
Cornmeal doesn’t always equal cornbread
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “What else can I do with cornmeal besides make cornbread?”.
Well, think no more! Here are a couple of things you can do:
- Use it on pizza dough. You know that yummy powder that find in your pizza crust? Yes, it’s cornmeal! Just sprinkle it at the bottom and on top of your pizza crust.
- Make polenta (or grits). Honestly, the two aren’t vastly different. Polenta just sounds fancier. You can make creamy polenta, baked polenta, polenta fries! So many choices.
- Make croutons! Yes, it’s basically really well baked/toasted cornbread.
- Make hushpuppies. Did you know that they call it that because people from the South used to feed them to their dogs to “hush” them?
- Substitute it for bread crumbs. Put it in your burger patties or meat balls to make them richer, or use it to as a crust for food you want to fry.
For now, let’s make polenta with it
The first time I had polenta, the dish I had was “mussels in a tomato fennel stew with spicy chorizo polenta.” It was absolutely amazing, and to this day, I still cannot forget how awesome that dish was. The polenta was the perfect component to elevate the dish.
Even though I did not have some mussels at hand, I did have some Honey Balsamic Chicken, which I made spicy with some habanero chili. While thinking of a side dish, I decided it would go well with some creamy polenta!
I wanted it a bit on the creamy and slightly sweeter side to complement the spicy chicken so I added some cream style corn. For that splash of color, and bit of crunch, I added some chives. Oh and of course, a little bit of cheese!
Hope you like this Creamy Cheesy Chivey Polenta recipe!
- 3-4 cups of vegetable/chicken stock
- 2 cups of cream-style corn
- 1 cup of corn meal
- 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese (or any combination of cheese of your choice)
- 4 - 6 tablespoons of chives
- Put chicken stock in a pot and once it starts boiling, put the heat on low and let it simmer.
- Add the cream-style corn. Whisk until well mixed.
- When the two are well incorporated, start adding the corn meal slowly. There will be lumps so keep whisking until it's smoother for about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Add the cheese and keep whisking for about 5 minutes.
- Optional: If the lumps are not disappearing (and it's really bothering you), turn off the heat. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend.
- Turn off the heat and fold in chives.
- Serve on it's own, or as a side dish. Sprinkle some chives on top as a garnish.
- Store leftovers in the fridge and just add a bit of water when heating it up. You can also bake the polenta, or make polenta fries with it!