Sometimes we need a change from mashed potatoes, rice, and bread. We need a starchy side that will please our carb cravings. What better than polenta, aka corn mush.

Polenta is essentially mushy corn meal grains that have been cooked in boiling water. Add some buttah and Parmesan cheese, and you got yourself a winner.

This recipe is for a basic polenta, but you can make it any way you like. You can use chicken broth, add some heavy cream, throw in some sauteed garlic, throw in some rosemary and crushed red chili flakes. The possibilities are as endless as your creative palette.

You can buy any type of corn meal you want. Fine grain, coarse grain. It doesn’t matter, it’s all corn mush. It’s also known as ‘harina de maiz’ in Spanish. Don’t buy masa harina, though. That’s a whole different creature that is used for making tamales.

Click here for the recipe for “Polenta”

Polenta should be served hot, or it can be refrigerated to form crisp polenta cakes the next day.

Here’s what you need.


Cornmeal, water, and butter. And some cheese if you want.


In a pot of simmering water, add some salt. It’s for flavor.


While whisking the boiling water vigorously, slowly add the corn meal. It’ll get thick fast.


When it’s combined well, it’ll look like this.


See? I said it’d get thick fast. Now, continue stirring it while it cooks. If it gets too thick, add more water. Not too much, just about 1/2 cup at a time. Taste the polenta after 10 minutes to check for doneness. It should taste cooked and not be grainy.


To form firm polenta for the next day’s polenta cakes, pour some prepared polenta into a butter dish.


Wrap for plastic wrap and let cool before refrigerating overnight. Set aside for polenta cakes.


Now if you don’t want to make polenta cakes and you just want creamy corn mush, add a few tablespoons of butter.


This is for flavor and for decadence. Mhm.


It’ll look a lot smoother after the butter is whisked in.


Serve her right up. Pronto.


Don’t forget to sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the top. Grind some black pepper, too, if you so desire.

Here’s the recipe below. Enjoy a nice vacation from rice, mashed potatoes, and cliche carbs.


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