I have tried polenta in restaurants several times and have been wanting to have a go at it. Being vaguely cheap and conscious of always buying things and then having them go bad before I use them, I wanted to try cooking polenta directly from cornmeal instead of buying the pre-prepped tubes.
I found this recipe at thekitchn.com, and put it to use. It seemed to do the trick, though the polenta was pretty sticky and I am not sure if that is how it is supposed to be or not. I might consider trying to make it in smaller quantities in the future because this yielded a buttload.
Then I went on to step two, which was to incorporate the polenta into a dish from epicurious.com, Honeyed Prawns and Polenta. I don't like the word prawn, so from now on I will be calling them shrimp, like a good American. On all of the British TV shows I watch they call them prawns and it just sounds icky to me. And it makes me think of the aliens from District 9, which was a fantastic movie. Back to cooking...
I do love shrimp. I like to try almost anything with shrimp, and I like to try to make new things with shrimp. In fact, I tried cooking them directly over the flame of my gas stove on skewers the other day because I was too lazy to bother setting up the grill. A little iffy, but it works!
While the polenta looks like a solid thing here, once you pierce the crusty layer it is all jiggly and soupy. Polenta and shrimp baked and then plated in a pleasing manner with parmesan, parsley and capers because, as blogger The Pioneer Woman says, Martha may be watching.
And then I proceeded to douse it in more parmesan and devour it. The capers were unnecessary, and did not compliment the honey-sweet taste of the dish. Otherwise, pretty delightful. The brown bits of the polenta were the best parts by far. Not such a fan of the soupy part, so baking in a thinner layer would go better in my opinion. The recipe called for currants, which I did not have, and they may have added some more goodness because I can see that they may have been a fruitiness missing that I would have liked. Though I found that the polenta reminded me a bit of corn bread and then I really wanted corn bread and wished I had it instead of the polenta.
I am a bit torn on the shrimp. The tomato paste and honey did work on one level, but I think maybe it could have been thinned and spruced up in some way.
If you love polenta, then this might work out for you. If not, this might not be the best intro.