Oh how I love polenta!  Polenta is basically cornmeal and the same stuff they use to make grits.  It's pretty darn healthy too so can be a nice alternative to using pasta, bread or rice.  There are a few methods of cooking polenta, the most popular being on the stove or in the oven.  This is a combo of both.

Cheddar Cheesy Polenta with Mushrooms

Makes enough for 4ish : )

What you'll need:

 For the polenta:

1 1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 1/2 cup water

1 tsp. salt

1 cup polenta (or it may be called corn grits)

1 tbsp. butter

a few handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese

For the mushrooms:

1 package or 2 handfuls of mushrooms (I like crimini or baby bellas for this)

1 quarter of a medium onion, diced

2 (or 4) cloves of garlic, minced

a pad of butter

a handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

chopped, fresh chives to top

What you'll do:

Boil the stock/water combination in a medium sauce pot.  Slowly add in the polenta stirring the whole time.  Reduce heat to medium or medium low and continue to stir for about 30 minutes. (yup, this is a labor of love!)  When the polenta is nice and thick it's done.  Remove from heat and add a big pinch of salt, a pad of butter and a handful of shredded sharp cheddar.  Stir together.  Spray a baking dish with some cooking spray and pour the polenta in.  Flatten out and top with another few handfuls of cheddar cheese.  Bake in the oven on 500 just until the cheese is bubbling and just starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes.

While the polenta is baking, saute the onions and mushrooms in a little butter, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt.  

To assemble, scoop out some polenta into a bowl and top with the mushrooms and sprinkle with chives.  Enjoy warm!!

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