Cornmeal Crunch Recipe

This is what happens when you cook a pot of cornmeal until it is thick and creamy. Add a bit off cheese, some deeply caramelized onions, spread it in a pan, drizzle generously with olive oil and bake until the bottom and sides are deeply golden and crunchy.

Cornmeal Crunch

This is what happens when you cook a pot of cornmeal until it is thick and creamy. Add a bit off cheese, some deeply caramelized onions, spread it in a pan, drizzle generously with olive oil and bake until the bottom and sides are deeply golden and crunchy. The insides stay a tad bit melty and creamy, the caramelized onions on top add depth and sweetness.

Cornmeal Crunch Recipe

We've been doing all sorts of things with the leftovers - dunking slabs in stews, slathering pieces with goat cheese, tossing smaller cubes into salads, and (my personal favorite) topping with sauteed spinach.

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Cornmeal Crunch Recipe

I make an effort to buy whole grain cornmeal - this is cornmeal that still has the nutritious bran and germ included. You can easily make this recipe vegan by omitting the cheese.

1 1/2 cups (medium grind) cornmeal
fine grain sea salt
4 cups yellow onion, chopped (about 3 medium)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 cups water or vegetable broth

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees, racks in the middle. Butter and flour (or line bottom with parchment paper) one 9 x 12-inch baking dish or tart pan - or roughly this size.

In a medium bowl combine the corn meal with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and set aside.

To caramelize the onions, heat a splash of olive oil in a large thick-bottomed skillet with a pinch or two of salt. Cook over high heat, stirring and scraping the pan occasionally - more often as the onions begin to get increasingly brown. Continue cooking until the onions collapse and turn deep brown in color. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Bring 1 1/2 cups water (or broth) to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the water and cornmeal mixture, bring back up to a boil and stir until it is thicker than a heavy frosting - about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and 2/3 of the onions. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it to an even thickness, and drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the bottom is golden and the cornmeal begins to pull away from the sides of the pan a bit. Serve topped with the remaining onions (and more grated cheese if you like).

Makes about 16 pieces.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

Looks awesome! Does it have the same consistency without the cheese? thanks!

Anonymous

Love your gluten-free recipes! This cornmeal crunch topped with goat cheese sounds pretty darn good. I'll have to try that one. Sounds like it might make for good stuffing chunks for Thanksgiving turkey as well. Hmmmm? Lovely photos! Melissa

glutenfreeforgood

This does look & sounds really delicious! I've been craving soup lately & this bread would be a perfect accompaniment. Bookmarking right away! I too am wondering about whole grain cornmeal...sorry if it's a silly question. I've never noticed it in any of the stores I frequent...is it hard to find or am I overlooking it? Thanks for a great recipe!

Sarah

I'm not an onion fan but this looks delish!

Kara Davies

Sounds so good! Can't wait to try it!

Michele

My mouth is watering already.... yum!

Victoria

This reminds me of a recipe I tried the other day that used cornmeal as the base of a deep dish pizza. It was such a nice change, extremely filling and the crispy sides are yum! Here's the link to the one I made, although I put roasted pumpkin, mushrooms, marinated capsicum and chorizo on top. http://www.yumsugar.com/2394864

Leah

Thank you so much Heidi! I have just started eating gluten-free and have been craving bread. I think this will be perfect to satisfy that. I will be making this tomorrow morning!

Isabel Dickinson

Thank you so much Heidi! I have just started eating gluten-free and have been craving bread. I think this will be perfect to satisfy that. I will be making this tomorrow morning!

Isabel Dickinson

Yummy... I am making tonight kind of winter like here in MN and I have everything in the pantry! Thanks again!

Kay

This looks great!! I would and will eat it for breakfast on the go. (a slab wrapped in some wax paper anyone?) Heidi, you are so inspiring for your seemingly inpromptu recipes. Nancy www.testkitchenette.wordpress.com

www.testkitchenette.wordpress.com

Nancy, foget what this recipe says about caramelinzing onions. It should never be done over high heat, as the onions will get bitter, even if they do not burn. Always caramelize them onver med-low heat. To do them right so that the develop a rich brown color and nutty flavor, takes time. If they begin to get to soft, turn up the heat a bit. HS: I used to do my onions over lower heat, but I started getting impatient - some nights I just didn't want to wait. My experience has been that as long as I stir/scrape regularly (i.e. don't let the onions touching the pan burn) the onions turn out nutty and brown and not at all bitter every time. But really, do it whatever way you like...

A Tip for Nancy

Just made it. Used shredded mozzarella in the "batter" and topped with parm because that's what I had on hand. So delicious and satisfying on a rainy November afternoon. All you gluten-free folks ought to make this ASAP. Thanks, Heidi.

nicole

It sounds like it would be perfect with goat cheese...and good with chili!

Fit Bottomed Girls

I'm not usually the biggest fan of cornmeal but this looks delicious! Thanks, Heidi! :)

Nirvana

Thanks Heidi for giving me a new favorite carb food that will be great with any meal of the day. I didn't know about whole grain cornmeal. Is it identifiable by the labeling, and where can I find it? Thanks!

Katycooks

I am lactose intolerant and and been living without cheesy polenta no more! I just last week found some artisan goat and sheepsmilk cheese that is Fabuloso on it's own and this recipe reminded me-- I can make polenta now!! Yippee! Last week I made the Shredded Brussel sprouts w/ tofu and it was absolutely delicious. I marinated my own tofu. Heidi! Thanks for sharing!!!!

Jessica

I always love a good gluten free recipe!! Especially one using cornmeal!

HTL

Looks absolutely delicious. We all love polenta. For the leftovers, I brown squares in a little olive oil and if desired butter. Serve with eggs and breakfast syrup. Delicious!

ROSEMARIE

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