polenta is the definition of comfort food. the creaminess is just perfect and so satisfying. polenta is a staple for those in northern italy and is used as a base to showcase stewed meats, short ribs, osso bucco as well as ragus and tomato sauces. it is so easy to make and, in this recipe, the goat cheese and chives are added at the end to finish it off after the polenta is simmered in water with a touch of salt. so so good.
2 c polenta (also known as corn grits)
8 c water
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbs butter
6 0z goat cheese, broken apart
bring the water to a boil in a large deep pan and season with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. gradually whisk in the polenta and continue to whisk for several seconds to make sure no clumps have formed. reduce heat to a low simmer for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. stir frequently to ensure that the polenta is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. the polenta will bubble and is very hot, so a long-handled spoon will be best. once the mixture has thickened sufficiently and the polenta has softened, stir in the butter and season with more salt if necessary and 3/4 of a teaspoon of pepper (you may need to test the polenta for doneness and if it needs more salt).
remove from heat and add the goat cheese and stir until the goat cheese has softened and is fully incorporated. if the mixture is a bit thick for your liking, add a touch of cream or additional goat cheese to loosen it up a bit. let cool for a minute. add the chives and mix well. spoon the polenta in a serving dish or individual plates. serve immediately.