28 October 2010

This is part of a Better Homes and Gardens recipe that I tried last night.

Pumpkin Sage Polenta

1½ cups water
⅔ cup instant polenta
½ cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp poultry seasoning
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Sage leaves for garnish
Milk, for thinning, if necessary

In medium saucepan bring water to a boil. Stir in polenta until combined. It will thicken immediately. Stir in pumpkin, poultry seasoning, and salt. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.

Top with sage leaves if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: Polenta will thicken upon standing. If it gets thick before you are ready to serve it, stir in a little bit of milk to thin it out.

This is so good and takes all of 5 minutes to make. The original recipe called for using fresh sage instead of the poultry seasoning, but the store I went to was out of fresh sage (it's that time of year again!), and I don't really care for using it anyway. I can never seem to chop it small enough that it doesn't taste like I am eating chunks of a leaf. So the dried poultry seasoning was a good substitution.

Make sure you are using instant polenta, not regular. I had the hardest time trying to find instant polenta. I eventually found it at a specialty grocery store, then a few hours later found it at Meijer, just not where I thought it would be. I always looked for it in the baking section with the cornmeal. Regular polenta is in that section. But then I stumbled across it in the pasta section. I think it's kind of weird that it's in the pasta section, but I guess it's because it's considered Italian ethnic food. I had even asked store employees where to find it and they had no clue. So if you are having trouble finding it, look in the pasta section! Now that I have found it, I make it a lot. It's a nice alternative to the usual side dishes of potatoes, rice, and pasta. It makes really good comfort food and Jim likes it in the morning with a fried egg on top.

Like I said in the recipe, it thickens up immediately. And as it sits, it gets thicker. So don't start this until right before you are ready to serve. I was serving it with chicken, and my chicken took about 5 minutes longer than the recipe stated, so I stirred in a little bit of milk to the polenta to loosen it up a bit before serving.

I served this with the other part of the recipe, Cinnamon Roasted Chicken. It made an awesome autumn meal.

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