Savory Polenta

Did you ever see a recipe, and that one led you to another one, then another one, and… well, you get the point. I received a recipe over the weekend for an appetizer with polenta rounds that looked absolutely delicious, and planned on making it, then thought I should probably wait until I actually need to make some hors d’oeuvres. So, I continued looking online for different types of recipes which contained polenta and came across one from Rachael Ray, that got tremendous reviews and looked scrumptious, which led me to a recipe from Alton Brown. I definitely plan on trying Rachael’s soon, but made Alton’s polenta side dish, with a few modifications, to go with some leftover rib-eye I had in the fridge. This was my first time making and trying polenta, so wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I really liked it!! This also pairs very well with fish or chicken.

Polenta with Rib-Eye and Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for grilling or sautéing the polenta, if desired
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup milk (I prefer skim) + additional to thin, if desired
  • 1/2 cup coarse ground cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup Sharp Cheddar, grated


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the red onion and salt, and cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.
  4. Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken stock or broth, bring to a boil.
  5. Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking.
  6. Once you have added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and cook for approx. 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent lumps.
  7. Once the mixture is creamy, remove from heat and add the butter and pepper.
  8. Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan and Cheddar.
  9. Season with additional salt, according to taste.
  10. If you want the polenta creamier, you can thin with a little cream or milk to get desired consistency. Otherwise, serve as is, or pour the polenta into a cake pan lined with parchment paper and place in the refrigerator to cool completely. Once set, turn the polenta out onto a cutting board and cut into squares, rounds, or triangles. Brush each side with olive oil and saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, or grill.

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