Creamy Slow Cooker Polenta

This is one of my favorite ways of cooking:  cooking in installments.  I’ve come to the realization that I really need to get this blog organized into a more sensible format.  During the Easter season, I’m hoping to go through all the posts and recategorize them so that they are easier to find:  by cooking method, by vegan vs. seafood, etc. 

 Anyway, I guess I got off track.  Cooking in Installments is my newest category.  Here’s the first, um, installment.  Given the long stretches of time between steps, I’m not going to list the ingredients until just before the steps involving them. 

 Creamy Slow cooker Polenta

 Step 1:
2 c cornmeal
2 c tomato or vegetable juice
2 c water
½ t salt 

Combine the above in your slow cooker and heat on low for 4 hours.  Please note that Second Shift of Kid and I had this and this alone for lunch today (with the exception of adding some parmesan cheese & black pepper, and it was perfectly tasty thus).  Then we kept the rest of it on warm until about half an hour before we were expecting to eat.   

Step 2:
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ t Kosher salt
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
40 fresh sage leaves, cut into thin strips
2 T flour or cornstarch
2 c milk
Bleu cheese crumbles for garnish 

Place onion and salt in saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until onion starts to brown around the edges.  Add in butter, olive oil, and sage, stirring over medium-high heat until golden brown throughout.  Sprinkle with flour/cornstarch and stir until evenly coated.  Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a low boil, simmering 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Stir Step 2 sauce into the slow cooker polenta.  Serve topped with optional bleu cheese crumbles. 

If you skip the “eating some for lunch” step, please take into consideration that your end result will be thicker than ours, but you can always add more milk, water, or vegetable juice if you’d like your polenta looser.  To veganize, just use rice milk, skip the cheese, and use some other shortening in place of the butter.  On an unrelated note, one of my kids said about this dish that “It tastes like Buca di Beppo!”  That then led to a conversation of, “How can it taste like a building?” “I don’t think it tastes like bricks!” etc. etc.

 Basically I’ve spent the day eating little else but polenta, and I can’t complain.  I’m even kicking around the idea of putting some sweet maple polenta in the crock before I go to bed, so we have a nice warm puddingy breakfast waiting for us in the morning. 

 By the by, I’m participating in the Catholic Writers Guild “30KforChrist” this month.  More on my overall writing goals in another post, but just thought I’d share that here.  I just finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy (haven’t seen the movies yet), and the idea of being there to sing or talk someone through their death came up repeatedly.  As we head into Holy Week, I’m thinking of our words “being there” for Jesus as He heads into His passion.  They may not make it easier, but maybe we can give Him something to hold on to.

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About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at erinmccolecupp.com .

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