"Why is it called creamy polenta, mama?", asks my 5-year old daughter. "Is it because it has cream in it?"
Cinnamon was most likely wondering why this morning's polenta was more creamy than usual. Most of the time I add more cornmeal to the milk and a splash of cream and/or butter at the end of the cooking time. This morning it was simply whole milk, a pinch of sea salt, and coarsely ground yellow cornmeal. A simple and delicious alternative for a nutritious breakfast that my kids love and often request. Of course they don't let me forget the pure maple syrup that always accompanies this cereal.
The recipe, although not as simple as toast with almond butter and honey, is not as complicated and time consuming as making pancakes - which is almost always a weekend ordeal, unless breakfast becomes dinner. It's also not one requiring you to stand by the stove, whisk in hand, during every second of the 25-30 minute cooking time. An occasional stir with the whisk is all that's required. In fact, you can prepare the kids' school lunches in the meantime and still have time to set the table and make coffee.
Creamy polenta with maple syrup
makes enough to feed 4 for breakfast although my children always seem to want more – increase as desired, using 40 grams of cornmeal per 250 ml of milk
1 liter whole milk
¼ teaspoon sea salt
160 grams coarse yellow cornmeal
In a 3 or 4-quart pot set over medium heat, warm the milk with salt until almost boiling. Keep an eye on this step so you avoid the milk spilling over.
As the milk starts to bubble, slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce heat to a medium low and, leaving the pot uncovered, whisk every 5 minutes or so for a total of 25-30 minutes. Although constant whisking is not necessary, do not wander too far from the stove. I’m usually making Turkish coffee at this time which requires my being by the stove.
Spoon polenta into bowls and top with pure maple syrup.