I've been on a bit of a polenta kick this year. Oven-baked or stove-top, with and without cheese, polenta is a great side dish that works well with many different meals. This polenta is slowly simmered with paprika and then the cheese is stirred in at the end.
The manchego gives the polenta a great flavor without turning it into a gooey-cheesy dish. Not that I turn down gooey-cheese in general, but that isn't how I like my polenta. Add as much cheese as you like, if you are more inclined to create the extra-cheesy version!
Paprika Manchego Polenta
Yield: 4-6 servings
2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup polenta or cornmeal
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup finely grated manchego cheese
2 tablespoons butter
Combine the milk, water and salt in a medium size pan over medium heat. When the mixture is steaming, slowly pour in the polenta while whisking to combine. Stir in the paprika and then bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, until it has thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the grated cheese and then top with butter just before serving. Enjoy!
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