My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Rescue your main dish: Polenta with corn and herbs
May 3, 2012, 5:42 pm
Filed under: Food, totally unrelated to kids | Tags: , , , , , ,

I have been very lazy lately. It’s all I can do to put dinner on the table…and it isn’t even summer yet. Just wait until it’s really hot out, I’m completely useless.

As we all know, sometimes you just have to put something in front of the masses. As much as I like vegetarian cooking (and I was veggie myself for a brief period of time), I find that more planning is involved. If you want super-easy, you just go for some meat.

Now that it’s grilling weather, I like to delegate the meat to my man. We have been very confined to our gender roles in this aspect: Cory does the grilling exclusively. I don’t even know how to turn the grill on. I will marinate some meat (favorites are pork chops and chicken breasts), and Cory will grill it up. Occasionally, we’ll grill up some yummy sausages–chicken or pork–preferably the kinds with some fun spices (like green chile, andouille, italian, apple, etc.).

When you have a tasty meat dish, all you need is a side. I’ve got a pretty standard list of sides: roasted potatoes and onions, roasted carrots, roasted broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted beets, roasted brussel sprouts. Are you sensing a trend here?

On behalf of all who eat my food, I’ll sing a resounding, “Alleluia.” I have stumbled on a new side-dish, and it’s a winner.

Enter the delicious polenta with corn and herbs

Who doesn’t like polenta, or “bowl full of mush” (as we started calling it for our little “Goodnight, Moon”-lovers)? My issue with polenta (like its culinary cousin risotto) is that it takes eons to cook, and you need to stir and stir and stir. This can go down in the books as “non-toddler-friendly” cooking. How did generations of Italian women raise small children with all that stirring?

The good news is that this recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of polenta (or corn grits, as its also known). Since it has such a small amount of polenta in it, the cooking time is so much shorter (and thus, time spent stirring continuously is shorter).

My sad little potted herbs–they bit the dust soon after this photo. Don’t worry, I just planted a bunch more!


1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter

1 cup corn

Fresh herbs (I’ve tried both thyme and basil–separately–and both are delish)

1 cup milk (I’ve used whole and 2%–both taste great)

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup polenta (or corn grits)

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1 T butter or butter substitute (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a pot over medium-high heat, saute corn and herbs in the olive oil or butter for a minute (or until the corn is warm).

2. Add the milk and water, bring to a boil.

3. Whisk in the 1/2 cup polenta and continue stirring until liquid is absorbed and polenta is a thick, creamy consistency (about 6-7 minutes)

4. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan and butter or butter substitute (if using). Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Ta-da! Serves 4 as a side, double the recipe if you want to use it more like a main dish.

Adapted from this recipe at my favorite source of food ideas, Everyday Food Magazine.


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love the Everyday Food Magazine! My husband cooks from it all of the time! Great recipe – I will have him make it for us. 🙂

Comment by jeandayfriday

Super easy, too. Those are the best recipes–easy and yummy. I love that magazine, too. It never fails!

Comment by jaymers


Comment by RFL

No lie, this is very tasty for minimal effort. My kind of thing!

Comment by jaymers

I make this too! I even use the same brand. Everyone in my family loves it. I never tried adding herbs though. Usually I throw some grated cheddar cheese into it and they love it. I like easy dinners too. 😉

Comment by the domestic fringe

I bet cheddar would taste awesome, too. I will try that! Thanks for commenting.

Comment by jaymers

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