For years and years and years growing up, I turned up my nose at the polenta my Grammie would (and still occasionally does) make for my dad. Even when I ate meat, it looked unappetizing, bland. Possibly a texture issue.
In my early vegetarian teen years, knowing that your tastes change, I attempted to try this mush. But the mush factor, to a person who will have a gag-reflex on soggy bread, well.. it didn’t work out. My mom stated I needed to pan fry it and add- NO NO NO! I wouldn’t even let her finish. I wouldn’t even pan fry my pierogies! (of course now, fry those babies up!) I wasn’t going to happen!
Last summer, I gave that weird tube of mush another shot. And I pan fried them. And I would put them in the middle of a fresh biscuit, maybe with a little Tofutti cheese… tasted exactly like an egg mcmuffin (only healthier and moralier) . Sometimes I would get the basil flavor, or just add some basil and garlic. I was really liking this polenta stuff.
Last week I visited a Brazilian grocery store tucked in an alley. I got some Pizza flavored crunchy things, and Polentina, which I only assumed was polenta! Bought some in a heart beat.
I have never made polenta from a mix, so I broke down and used the magical forces of the internet. I found this wonderful list of how to make polenta, sauces, and topping ideas.
I don’t like to use the microwave, but this was a very easy recipe with a smaller portion.
3/4 cup Polenta
3 cups broth
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Mix the Polenta, broth, and salt in a 3-quart pyrex bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 8 minutes. Remove and stir briskly until well blended. Microwave for another 2 to 3 minutes for thicker Polenta.
The Polenta may be eaten as soft Polenta at this point, or you may spoon it into an oiled baking dish and let it cool until it gets firm.
When firm, cut into pieces and reheat in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes, or pan-fry in a nonstick pan with a little oil.
I put it in my bread pan, cooled it, cut it, fried it with some basil, garlic, oil. That hit the spot! MMMM.
Later, I pan-fried some of the leftovers with tomato sauce and basil until crispy! Now that’s good eatin’!
**Embarrassing side note: As I took the bowl out to stir it, upon smelling it, I exclaimed to myself out loud: “This really DOES smell like Brazil! … How does I know that?! …. How does I… oh my…”
The fact that I have never been to Brazil and the poor grammar clearly shows I am going crazy here. Maybe it was the micro-waves.