Desert Polenta with Cheddar

Craig Higgins, the chef at Tongabezi Camp in Zambia, has been instrumental in devising menus and training chefs at many safari camps. This polenta has become a menu standby. Great Comfort Food Recipes

4 to 6


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • Pinch of nutmeg

  • Pinch of ground cloves

  • 2 1/2 cups milk

  • 2 1/2 cups water

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 cup coarse cornmeal or polenta

  • 4 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)

  • Pinch of paprika


  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy sauce-pan. Add the garlic, nutmeg and cloves and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the milk, water and salt and bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, add the cornmeal in a thin stream. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cheese and paprika and serve.

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