Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Polenta...

This polenta is literally my favorite thing to make of late. It's ridiculously easy (you make it in a slow cooker), but it reads complicated and special (which is really the best combination, no?)

I'd love to be able to report that my girlies love it (or would even try it for that matter) but (because they are clearly nuts) sadly, I can't. But I can attest to some level of kid friendliness, as (sans the mushroom and leek topping) my four-year old friend Gracie lapped it up.

The polenta easily stands alone (it's rich and hearty) but it's great as a side with roasted chicken or tenderloin for a more special meal...

Slow Cooker Polenta with Leeks and Mushrooms (from my friend Lisa Greene)
  • 1 cup organic polenta (I like Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 3 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 small log goat cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 cups sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1 medium leek thinly sliced
  • a bit of white wine

Coat the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray, then add the polenta and 1 tsp of the butter. Bring the chicken broth to a boil on the stove and add to the slow cooker, wisk together until slightly thickened.

Add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir well and cover. Set slow cooker to low and the timer for 3 hours.

At the 2.5 hour mark, add the room temperature goat cheese to the slow cooker, stir well and cover.

While the polenta is cooking, heat the remaining butter in a sauté pan and saute the leeks for a few minutes until slightly browned, add the mushrooms and continue cooking over high heat until softened and deeply browned. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine. Set mixture aside.

Serve polenta immediately when ready with a generous scoop of the mushroom/leek mixture.


  1. I LOVE polenta! I will have to try this. Thanks!

  2. MMMMMM good! I'll be trying this over the weekend.

    Now, not to sound stupid, but what exactly is a slow cooker?

  3. looks YUMMM. will totally have to try this.

  4. hahaha. i just laughted out loud at the fancy-ing up of the crock pot.
    is this the meal you made for us a few weeks ago?
    i am soooo excited! i got a "slow-cooker" for my birthday and i think this is the first thing i'll make.

    **also, does that package say polenta? or is it corn meal? i know sometimes it will even say grits, but always essentially the same thing.

  5. e-- i know right...it'll always be just a crock pot no matter how i try to fancy it up.

    sometimes it says polenta and sometimes it says grits. Bob's Red Meal says polenta...yep this is what i cooked for you guys!

    love you

  6. In my mind, I knew it was a 'crock pot', but I wanted to believe there was something more fancy to covet at William Sonoma! :)

  7. What a fabulous idea! I am going to try out the crockpot polenta.

  8. We just had this for dinner. It was fabulous and my nine-month-old loved it. It may be our new Sunday night dinner. Thanks!

  9. I came across this during my panic-stricken recipe search for our New Year's Eve dinner party, and I'm so glad I did. It was a hit! Thanks for posting it.

  10. oooh i'm so glad you guys like this!

  11. made this tonight for dinner and it was amazing. thanks for sharing!

  12. I just made this for lunch today and it is AMAZING! I added in some "Sunny Paris Seasoning" which you can find at Penzey's Spices. I am gonna spread the word on my blog now! Thank you!

  13. Made this for my kids, and we all loved it!! Such a great, tasty, easy recipe. Thanks