Joy the Baker

Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta

February 23, 2009

Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta

I don’t do dishes in the morning.  Dishes are no way to start the day.

While I am all about a big, fat, kitchen wrecking breakfast- morning clean up is absolutely nowhere in my early day itinerary.

The reality is, I may not get to have that perfect, sunny morning weekend wake up experience everyday.  I am convinced, however, that there’s a way to put a smile on my face every morning… even if you have to force it on with a wrench.

When I’m in no mood to get out of bed and start my day I give myself this little speech in my head:  Joy,  stop being such a crabby pants.  Get out of bed, go put on that big robe that feels like a combination of cloud and kitten and make yourself breakfast without setting those robe sleeves on fire.  While you’re treating yourself to a fine morning… go ahead and take a break from those breakfast dishes.  You’ve done enough work just getting out of bed… The dishes can wait.

And just like that, the ugly Monday morning isn’t as nasty a beast as I thought.

Make Monday morning Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta, and let the dirty pan soak in the sink until you get home from work.  Live a little… don’t do the dishes.

Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta

Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta

What’s the deal with polenta?

Here’s what you need to know:  polenta is ground white or yellow cornmeal.  It is boiled with water or milk and made into a warm and super pleasing porridge.  The mixtures cooks up smooth and creamy and can be made either sweet or savory according to your needs.

Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta

The Moretti polenta I used is straight from Italy, although you can find it here it the states.  It’s dreamy.  The Moretti family has been making polenta in Lombardy since 1922.  Their corn is air dried then stone crushed.  It’s the real deal.  The polenta meal comes in different levels of coarseness.  I chose the fine grain meal because it cooks up faster and I love the texture for breakfast food.

Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta

Note:  If you have leftover polenta, don’t dump it!  Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, add the leftover cooked polenta and cover with the overhanging plastic wrap.  Throw it in the fridge for a night or two, and I’ll show you how to make fried polenta sticks next!

Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta

Print this Recipe!

1 cup polenta

3 cups cold water

2 cups whole milk

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

sprinkle of cinnamon (if desired)

In a small bowl measure out 1 cup of dried polenta.  Top with 1 cup cold water and stir.  Set aside.  In a medium saucepan add 2 cups cold water and 2 cups whole milk.  Bring to a low boil.  Add salt and stir.  Slowly add the polenta and water mixture, using a whisk to stir out any possible lumps.

Once all of the polenta is added, turn the flame to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the polenta has thickened.  Depending on the coarseness of your meal, it may take 10-40 minutes.  Mine took about 10-12 minutes to cook.  Once thickened, add sugar and vanilla bean or vanilla extract.  Sprinkle cinnamon in if you life.

Place polenta in small bowls and top with milk and a sprinkle of additional brown sugar if you like.

Place leftover polenta in a lined loaf pan for fried polenta sticks as directed in the note above.

Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta


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