You might be looking at this plate and thinking, grits? Well yes and no. Polenta and grits are both popular dishes made of cornmeal, but polenta is always made with coarse ground cornmeal. But if you’re me you als make your grits with coarse ground cornmeal. Ok, so yes, grits. But for the sake of this being Italian-inspired, let’s say polenta. Bon appetit!

INGREDIENTS 

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  • 1 c dry polenta (coarse ground corn meal) 
  • 3-4 c unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 c sliced portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 c crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 c half and half  
  • 1/2 c white sugar or sweetener
  • 1/2 c balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/4 c goat cheese, more for crumbling  
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 6 stalks asparagus  
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp white pepper  
  • 1 tsp sea salt, more to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  1. In a stock pot bring 2 cups of the chicken broth and the polenta to a boil
  2. Once it has come to a boil, turn the heat down to low and add one tablespoon of butter and slowly stir in more broth - stir and add more broth every few minutes or so
  3. In a separate skillet, heat up the sliced bacon strips with a splash of olive oil on medium high for about 5 minutes
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms, sliced (in quarters) asparagus, plus 1 tablespoon of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper and toss until everything is well-coated 
  5. Cook for another five minutes until veggies are firm but finished, then set aside
  6. To make the balsamic glaze, heat on high the sugar and balsamic vinegar, stirrring well.
  7. After the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer into a thick glaze
  8. Add another tablespoon of butter, the goat cheese, half and half, and remaining garlic to the polenta and stir well
  9. Take off of heat and add salt to taste.
  10. On a plate, layer the polenta, veggie and bacon mixture, glaze, and crumbled goat cheese. Enjoy. 
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