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A Tale of Two Cornmeals: Grits & Polenta

04/28/2014 08:53 am ET | Updated Jun 28, 2014

Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

Today on Food52: It was the best of corn, it was the cheapest of corn.  

Despite being the Token Critical Friend, I have unquestionably embraced New American brunch since day one -- exactly the sort of sweeping trend that would typically not be spared my vitriol. 

More specifically, I order grits or polenta every time they're on the menu, which is, luckily, more often than not.   

They're also simple enough to recreate at home, and, when used as a base for vegetables and proteins, the root of a hearty, satisfying, and incredibly cheap dinner.  

The difference between grits and polenta? Not much. The former is a southern staple, and the latter is traditional in Italy; but when it comes down to it, it's all corn

You're going to slowly cook grits on the stovetop for about 45 minutes, and the same goes for polenta. Once they have cooked, you can even go a step further and set them in a baking sheet or other dish, then slice them into rounds or squares, and fry 'em up.

Ready, set, mush. 

If you've got grits in your pantry, give these recipes a try:

And if you prefer polenta, go with these:

Broiled Polenta Cakes on Food52

Tell us: What are your favorite recipes for grits and polenta? 

This article originally appeared on Food52.com: A Tale of Two Cornmeals: Grits & Polenta.

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