Weather: 25 degrees, sunshine
What I’m listening to: Little Wonders, Rob Thomas
When I fly to California to visit family and friends, it often takes three planes, and at least two layovers. On my last trip, I landed at the Sacramento airport late in the day, eager to get settled and get some good food in my stomach. My sister and my niece picked me up at the airport and took back to their house, where there was braised chicken waiting in the oven and hot, creamy polenta waiting in the crockpot. I gotta tell you that that meal was just exactly the warm, comforting thing I needed after a long trip. And how amazing that the polenta was sitting there waiting for us when we walked in, sans all the standing over the stove and stirring that is usually required to achieve perfect, rich polenta. I told my sister that I had to have the recipe.
It wasn’t long after I got home from my trip that I tried the crockpot polenta method in my own kitchen. It totally works. Throw all the ingredients into a saucepan on the stove, bring it to a boil, transfer it to a crockpot, and cook it for two hours, stirring about once an hour. Just prior to serving, stir in some more butter and half and half to loosen to your desired texture, and serve. Parmesan cheese is optional at this stage, depending on what your entree is. This easier, lower-maintenance version of polenta would be perfect with my Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs or use it in lieu of pasta with my Chicken Cacciatore.