Thursday, May 13, 2010

Polenta with Feta, Bacon and a few Surprises


So easy, nearly a foolproof side dish, yet dozens of varieties.  In it's basic form, polenta is just cornmeal mush made with a little water.  I have never eaten a basic polenta.  It is just too much fun to flavor.

This is a continuation of the "side dishes of Shrimp Week - Week".  I made these when I made Bacon Sizzled Shrimp.  The paired great together, like Abbot and Costello, Pork and Beans and SHRIMP and GRITS.

Many people (including me) see no difference between grits and polenta.  Aside from the cost when you order them at a restaurant, unless you go to a great deal of effort, there is no difference among American households.  Technically, different varieties of corn should be used.  But the cooking method and basic ingredients are the same.

But, so much more fun to say polenta... Try it, just sounds special.  Now try saying grits.  You get my point.

So, here is my recipe for this flavorful RICH POLENTA...

  • 1 cup Polenta
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 3/4 pound crumbled Feta Cheese (divided)
  • 4 strip of crumbled Bacon
  • 2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 TBS Smoked Paprika

Start the polenta as instructed on the box.  Just sub the buttermilk for the water.  after storing for about 10 minutes, you can feel the cornmeal start to firm up.  At this stage, add 1/2 pound of the Feta, reserving 1/4 pound to use as garnish.  Stir that in.

Add the Balsamic, stir that in.

Add the Paprika.  I added mine in and stirred.  That is why my polenta is orange.  If you like the standard yellow color, add the paprika as a garnish to the top.

Continue to stir for a total of about 20 minutes.

Plate, add the Bacon Sizzled Shrimp.

Garnish with the bacon and feta.

Maybe a little caprise salad and a Dirty Arnie Drink on your deck.  Just another night in paradise.


  1. Buttermilk for polenta!!!! Why have I never thought of this! It is seriously genius.

  2. Looks wonderful! I'm sure it tasted just as good as it looks!! :)

  3. Yummy! Great flavor combination. Everything is better with bacon!

  4. I will have to try this stuff again..I had some when younger, and wasn't overwhelmed..

  5. Oh polenta. There are never too many ways to eat it! This looks so delicious!

  6. I was looking polenta recipe and I found yours! This looks yummy!