On a farm day outing in May I was finally able to meet and talk to the fine folks from The Congaree Milling Company. I had followed their progress and Facebook page for awhile, had messaged and talked to them, but this was the first chance to actually meet them and score some of their polenta and grits! I was excited to try it.
Well, as sometimes happens in life, things in my world quickly got busy and my Roasted White Polenta was patiently chilling out in my freezer waiting for me to make some deliciousness with it. Finally that moment came and I am thrilled to share the results with you.
So who is The Congaree Milling Company?
They are Ken DuBard, and business partner, Lawrence Burwell. It is their goal to provide the best organic maize products that can be bought on the market today. Organic corn is all we currently mill on our stone burr mill. We use a separate mill for processing our organic oats Our freshly milled, unenriched, organic, whole-grain stone-ground products are processed in ways that are both ancient and modern, ways that utilize the inherent nutrition in maize while simultaneously enhancing flavor. This untapped potential makes The Congaree Milling Company unique in its vision.
We specialize in New and Old World milling techniques that date back to when corn was grown to be consumed by people.
What is Polenta?
Polenta, in short, is a cornmeal porridge that is a common dish in Northern Italy (so much so that one derogatory word for Northern Italians is polentoni—the big polentas). It's frequently eaten with meats and ragù, cheese like gorgonzola, or condiments like mostarda d'uva, a grape-and-nut jam from Piedmont. It can either be eaten freshly cooked, much like a thick porridge, or it can be cooled and then sliced and fried, grilled, or baked. See more from Serious Eats
2 tbls olive oil, plus extra for grilling or frying
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 quart chicken stock or broth (make your own)
1 cup roasted white polenta (I used polenta from The Congaree Milling Company)
3 tbls unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large, oven-safe saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and sweat until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.
Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken stock, bring to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once you have added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent lumps. Once the mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add the butter, salt, and pepper. Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan.
Pour the polenta into 9-inch round cake pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 2-3 hours.
Once set, turn the polenta out onto a cutting board and cut into squares, rounds, or triangles. Brush each side with olive oil and fry in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, or grill.
Serve polenta topped with an Onion Marsala Wine Sauce for an added treat. In a medium saucepan, saute' 1/2 cup chopped onions in 1 tbls olive oil; sprinkle in 2-3 tbls. flour and quickly whisk in about 1 cup Marsala wine; stir until smooth and slightly thickened.
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