Oven Baked Polenta
In this version of Polenta the preliminary cooking has been cut in half because the polenta finishes cooking as it bakes in the oven. This recipe is great for entertaining because it can be made ahead and reheated later (even the next day). Serve with Italian sausage or as a vegetarian main dish with steamed greens.
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Melt in a large, wide saucepan over medium heat:
2 tbs. butter or olive oil
Add; 1/2 cup of finely chopped onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent ( about 5 minutes. Add and bring to a boil:
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
1 1/2 cups of yellow cornmeal
Gradually stir into boiling stock mixture; cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Pour half the polenta into the baking dish. Smooth with spatula.
4 ounces of Gruyere cheese, thinly slivered
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, thinly slivered
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Top the layer of polenta with half of the cheeses. Spread the remaining polenta on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
1/2 cup heavy cream, half-and-half or milk
Bake until the top is browned and bubble, 35 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Makes (2 pints)
3 Cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
2 whole nutmegs
1 lb. Ocean Spray fresh cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup of water
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 5 minutes. Spoon into sterilized glasses leaving whole spices in syrup. Seal, cool and store.
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
Cream margarine and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in extract. Add flour and salt; mix well. Stir in nuts. Chill. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into crescents; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool; sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Approximately 5 dozen.