The word “cheesy” automatically makes everything better. Cheesy potatoes, cheesy bread, cheesy jokes, cheesy cheese…you get the picture. Unfortunately, cheesy and healthy do not go together, but this is the time of year where I allow myself to indulge and luckily I have plenty of buddies that I can unload such indulgences on after I have my go. The best part of cooking, after all, is sharing…because sharing is caring and I care about sharing my cheesy polenta. Is that weird? Ha! Like I care. 🙂
Something that I love about polenta is that it is just so versatile and it can take on so many flavors. It is a great base for a tomato-y turkey meatball dish, side for grilled chicken, or can be refrigerated, cut and baked (or fried if you’re feeling naughty) for an amazing appetizer. This version of cheesy polenta acts perfectly for all three so have fun with it. Oh, and did I mention that this is a SUPER fast side dish? Using the instant corn meal cuts the cooking time down like cah-razy! It’s awesome.
On its own, polenta is kind of bland. I mean it’s just cornmeal. So, I make sure to add in flavors at every step of the cooking process. I start by softening half a shallot before adding in my organic chicken broth. Most polenta instructions call for water, but I like adding the broth for some tastiness. For the cheesy part, I added in a mix of parmesan and romano, as well as mascarpone…it’s so bad…yet so good. I confess that I have other cheesy polenta recipes up my sleeve. This isn’t my first rodeo.
Whisking the polenta prevents both the tiny and larger lumps. Polenta + lumps = bad news.
Positively perfect polenta topped with parsley. Are you loving that alliteration?
My cheesy polenta is sure to warm your insides during the colder months. I hope you try it out and do leave your comments below!
- 1/2 shallot - finely chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 cup instant polenta
- 1 cup parmesan and romano mix (or 1/2 cup parmesan and 1/2 cup romano)
- 2 heaping tbsp mascarpone
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- In a medium size pot, saute shallot in butter until soft - about 3 minutes
- Add chicken broth to pot and heat to a low boil
- Once boiling, slowly add polenta and whisk to combine
- Turn down heat to simmer, continuing to whisk for a few seconds at the minute every five minutes
- Turn off stove, add in cheeses, salt, half and half, and parsley
- Whisk to combine
- Serve immediately