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This is yet another incarnation of my personal blog. Here's where you can read about what I do when I'm not at work: hiking, seeing plays and other shows, eating, traveling, etc.

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Creamy Polenta with Fresh Leeks and Corn

Posted by gck Friday, September 9, 2011

I’ve been cooking a lot again this summer, thanks to the weekly supply of veggies from my CSA. But I haven’t been all that great about posting about it because most of what I’ve been making has been really simple. For example, tonight, I fixed some Rice-a-Roni, but I added half a can of cannelloni beans and two shredded zucchinis. Actually looks like real food, but I can’t write a whole post about it.

About a week ago, I felt like doing something that was a little more involved than steaming vegetables or making a chopped salad. I’d eyed the summer issue of 30 Minute Suppers by Cook’s Illustrated / America’s Test Kitchen after seeing it in an airport or something, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay $8 for it. With 40% off at one of the Borders closing sales, though, I snapped it right up. I’m actually a terrible fit for America’s Test Kitchen because they go to all this effort to find the perfect recipe, and I never follow recipes exactly and these days I don’t even bother measuring most things. But whatever, I liked the pictures in this magazine.


It was also kind of dumb because most of the recipes in the magazine involved a lot of meat, and I’ve basically stopped cooking non-seafood meat at home. But when I saw the recipe for polenta with leeks and corn, I knew I had to make it. I love polenta. I love leeks. I LOVE corn. I even had leeks from my box. And if it were last year, I’d have corn, but for some reason it’s really late in the boxes this year.

My assessment? Yummy recipe! They called for both parmesan and mascarpone cheese and fresh corn, and I used only parmesan and corn from a can. I also substituted half and half and water instead of whole milk because that’s what I had on hand. And if I were to make this again, I’d do it all on the stove instead of microwaving. I don’t mind stirring, but I do mind being burned by the steam that comes out of a bowl that has been covered in the microwave for 10 minutes. Finally, the one thing about polenta is that it doesn’t taste as good once it has cooled because it solidifies.

Creamy Polenta with Fresh Leeks and Corn
serves 4

2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 cup medium-grind cornmeal
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1 can corn
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Whisk milk, water, cornmeal, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on hgih power until cornmeal is thick and creamy, 15 to 22 minutes, whisking cornmeal and replacing wrap halfway through cooking.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and corn and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Transfer half leek-corn mixture to bowl with basil. Cover to keep warm.

3. Stir microwaved polenta into saucepan with remaining leeks and corn. Whisk in Parmesan cheese. Simmer over medium heat until creamy and cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Divide polenta among individual bowls and top with reserved leek-corn mixture. Serve.


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