Polenta can be a time-consuming dish. Like risotto, it requires a lot of stirring. Or does it? No, it does not! You can bake it in the oven and it comes out perfect every time. It’s so super-easy, I don’t think I’ll ever make it on the stove top again.
You can use all water or use ½ water and ½ milk. The polenta will be richer and creamier if you use whole milk.
(serves 4-5 as a side dish)
2 cups cold milk or water
1 cup yellow corn grits or dry polenta (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
½ to 1 teaspoon salt (use the lesser amount if you are going to mix in cheese)
2 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10″ x 8″ baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray. For ease of entry/exit from the oven, place on a cookie sheet.
When oven reaches temperature, combine cold milk or water with corn grits in a large bowl. Combine salt with boiling water and whisk to dissolve salt. Add salted water to grits and stir. Gently pour into the greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Stir before serving.
You can also embellish your polenta with cheese. Stir in ½ cup (or more if you like cheesy) at 45 minutes, then bake for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Stir again before serving.
Note: The original recipe said use a 9″x5″ pan, which may work but I have never tried it that way!