My inner Paula Dean really shone through while I was spontaneously whipping this up. Half-and-half, butter, bacon… plus corn grits and corn? Maybe in a former life I grew up in Virginia.
My only “scientific” recipe tip: use a 3:1 ratio for the amount of boiling water to grits. You can always add more liquid, like I did with the milk, but shock those grits with boiling water first!
Baked polenta with bacon and corn
Inspired by my intense craving for comfort food
1-1/2 c. water
1/2 c. polenta (corn grits)
1/3 c. milk
3 T. half-and-half
2-4 slices of thick-cut bacon
1/2 cup whole kernal corn
2 T. butter
1/2 c. cheese
fresh Parmesan to finish
Grease a 8×8 casserole and set the oven to 425. Put the water and salt on high heat. Slice bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and fry; add corn to pan and fry in grease.
Once water is boiling, add the polenta. Stir well and let boil for 3-4 minutes; add milk and half-and-half and keep at a simmer on medium heat. Stir polenta frequently to avoid burning on the bottom. Add in butter and black pepper before adding bacon and corn (below).
Once bacon and corn are browning, add to the polenta pan and stir well. Pour the polenta mixture into the casserole. Top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve with a light dusting of freshly-shredded parmesan on top.