One pantry staple I make sure to have in my cupboard at all times is corn meal. My family loves polenta in just about any form and any flavor and I love it because it is just about the easiest side to prepare. It can be served soft, in wedges and even fries. It’s anything goes for the recipe too, whatever we have in the fridge or herbs and spices gets tossed in for new and interesting combinations. Right now our family favorite happens to be spicy wedges, even the kids enjoy them! I think the polenta mellows out the spice so it tends not to burn in your mouth for the rest of the evening, instead there’s just a bit of a punch at the beginning followed by creamy goodness.
Spicy Polenta Wedges
2 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth)
1/2 small onion grated (on a cheese grater and it will be watery)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
a pinch or up to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne (depends on your spice preference)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
paprika for sprinkling
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan bring 2 cups of broth to boil, add onion and garlic and turn off the heat. Slowly stir in corn meal while whisking to prevent lumps. Stir in chili powder, cayenne, parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Spread out onto baking sheet to 1/2 inch thickness and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut into triangles. Pour a teaspoon of olive oil into a sauté pan and place polenta wedges into pan and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place heated polenta wedges onto plate and sprinkle with paprika.
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