Polenta Asiago

3 – 4 cloves garlic pressed or minced
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
6 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken soup base
Olive oil cooking spray
3/4 cup finely grated Asiago cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt

Spray a 2 to 4-quart casserole or oven safe bowl with cooking spray and set aside.

Spray a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with cooking spray and heat over medium for 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until browned. Reduce heat to low and add water and chicken base to pan stirring to combine with browned garlic. Using a wire whisk briskly mix cornmeal into stock a small amount at time until combined. Increase heat to medium-high and bring corn- meal to a gentle boil stirring constantly.

Preheat oven to 325. Reduce heat to low continue to cook cornmeal stirring often until mixture begins to thicken and pull away from the sides of the pan. Adjust salt if necessary then proceed with one of the following methods.

Method One: Stir cheese into hot polenta, remove from heat and stir in olive oil. To serve: spoon out onto individual plates and top with sauce, meat, etc.

Method Two: Remove from heat pour/spoon polenta into prepared baking dish and smooth out top. Sprinkle top with grated cheese and place in oven for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese melts. Remove from oven, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Note: You can also spoon polenta into 8 individual 6 to 8-ounce ramekins sprayed with cooking spray and top each with grated cheese and drizzled olive oil; or let polenta cool in prepared dish(s) for a few minutes then invert onto a plate or baking sheet removing the dish from the formed polenta, top with grated cheese and return to oven until cheese has melted. Remove from oven and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Yield: 8-1cup servings each at approximately 150 calories 5 gram total fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 7 milligrams cholesterol; 21.5 grams carbohydrate; 6.6 grams protein and 480 milligrams sodium. Compare at 232 calories and 12 grams fat for traditional recipe

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