The day after Thanksgiving means one thing. You are on your first day of eating leftovers. Your leftovers may last you a day, or they could last you a week. Leftovers will start to taste monotonous after a few servings. For a little change in your leftover menu, try this Cranberry Thyme Polenta.
This buttery, creamy, crispy, savory, “cranberryish” side dish is perfect for your leftover turkey and gravy. Be careful though, you may enjoy these polenta wedges so much that they will become a fixture on next year’s Thanksgiving spread.
Cranberry Thyme Polenta Wedges
Makes 8 generous servings
1(32-ounce) box chicken stock
1 cup white wine (or water)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cup yellow corn meal (not self-rising)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided
1 cup chopped shallots
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup dried cranberries
In medium sauce pan, add chicken stock, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Sprinkle cornmeal, 1/4 cup at a time, into hot stock mixture, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. When all the cornmeal is added, reduce heat to medium low and cook polenta, stirring frequently. When polenta mixture resembles a thick porridge, about 15 minutes, remove from heat. Immediately stir in Parmesan and 3 tablespoons butter. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
In a medium sauté pan melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add shallots and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove shallot butter mixture from heat and stir in cranberries. Stir in shallot cranberry mixture into the warm polenta.
Butter 9X9-inch pan. Spoon warm polenta into pan. Use the back of a wet spoon to smooth polenta out evenly in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until polenta is cool and firm to the touch. (You may chill polenta overnight if you wish)
When ready to serve, unmold polenta onto a cutting board. Cut polenta into 8 pieces. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet. Over medium heat, cook polenta pieces on each side until golden brown and polenta is warmed through. Remove polenta cakes from skillet and serve immediately.
Photographs ©Taylor Mathis Photography
Recipe ©Sally James