Polenta is ground white or yellow cornmeal. The polenta meal comes in different levels of coarseness. Bob's Red Mill also sells polenta with the nutritious germ still intact labeled as coarse stoneground cornmeal. It is the more "whole" option, but different than traditional polenta. I chose the finer grain more traditional meal because it cooks up faster and I love the texture for breakfast food. The dry meal is boiled with water or milk and made into a warm and pleasing porridge. It is a great alternative to oatmeal when you are in the mood for something different. The mixture cooks up smooth and creamy and can be made either sweet or savory according to your tastes.
The polenta is creamy and satisfying, especially when topped with warm berry compote, which is a fancy way of saying warm berry sauce. The sauce is fruity, sweet/tart and warm. It pairs perfectly with the creamy, smooth polenta. This breakfast comes together really quickly and is a nice alternative to a bowl of cereal.
Breakfast Polenta with Warm Berry Compote
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
This makes a lot of compote, so if you prefer less with your polenta, reserve some to use as a topping for pancakes, waffles or yogurt.
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
dash of ground cinnamon
1 (12 oz.) bag assorted frozen berries
2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 cup polenta; corn meal
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Compote: melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add berries, honey, and cinnamon; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in fresh lemon juice. Keep warm.
Polenta: Bring milk and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. In a separate bowl combine remaining 1 cup water, corn meal, sugar and salt. Slowly add polenta mixture into the boiling liquid, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Cover; continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir cooked polenta. Serve with fruit compote and cream (optional).