Cheesy Polenta | Chef Todd English #SundaySupper

Cheesy Polenta

Cheesy Polenta

Hey there!  It’s that time of week…when we come together Around the Family Table for Sunday Supper.  When one of our Sunday Supper Contributors, Tammi from Momma’s Meals, suggested the Favorite Celebrity Chef theme, I was excited but also stumped. Why?  Because it is so hard for me to choose just one favorite celebrity chef.   So many celebrity chefs have touched me, inspired me , shaped my cooking and therefore my family.

I could think back to the days of watching Two Fat Ladies…. oh how they made me laugh.  Do you remember the silly things they got away with saying on television and remember how they would pull up to the show?  Then there was Sara Moulton, back then we didn’t have internet and I could remember trying to write down her recipes as she prepared them.   I fell in love with Paula Deen and Emeril almost immediately.  Oh how I would sit and watch their shows  when my kids were little and try to duplicate their recipes for dinner.  Paula Deen is probably one of the most inspiring women to me.  She showed us that if you can dream it, with hard work, you can achieve it.  And you all already know how I feel about Emeril, he’s Portuguese and he’s an amazing chef.  Enough said.  I was so honored to have recently met and have the opportunity to interview Emeril.  I  left our meeting absolutely amazed at how gracious Emeril is. Then there’s Mario and Tyler, Giada and Cat Cora…. how could I choose?

Those were the obviously choices, but in the end, I chose a celebrity chef that may not be as obvious.  I chose this celebrity chef because I recently had an amazing meal prepared by him.  When I tell you it was fabulous, I truly am not doing this meal justice at all.  It was a meal that I will never forget.  Course after course perfectly orchestrated and paired, an absolute delight on the taste buds. But the one dish that was the most memorable was something so basic and simply prepared. The Cheesy Polenta was what I could immediately savor all over again with just a thought. While I had tasted Cheesy Polenta before, it had always been baked and a cake like texture.  When I tried it in its simplest creamy form, I was in love.

Chef Todd English

Chef Todd English is truly a talent in the kitchen and someone who’s cookbook, Cooking in Everyday English, I turn to time and time again.  I asked him what made his Polenta so creamy and full of flavor and he told me to always use the best quality Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese I can find.  That was the secret, good quality ingredients.

I love this simple Cheesy Polenta recipe and couldn’t wait to come home and test it on my family.  After just one bite, and they were ooohing and aaahing.  We have now made Chef Todd English’s Cheesy Polenta in it’s simplest form as a side or topped with Garlic Feta Shrimp as a meal.  I would highly recommend you… run to the store and get the ingredients for this dish!  You won’t be disappointed.

4.8 from 5 reviews
Cheesy Semolina Polenta
This Polenta recipe by one of my favorite Celebrity Chef's, Todd English, is perfect for #SundaySupper as a side of topped with Garlicky Feta Shrimp for the main meal.
Recipe type: Cooking in Everyday English Cookbook
Cuisine: The ABCs of Great Flavor at Home
Serves: 4
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Semolina or Pasta Flour
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese freshly grated
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste
  1. Cook milk in a heavy non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until bubbles appear (do not boil)
  2. Cook stirring constantly until semolina begins to set
  3. Sitr in ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  4. Add Salt and Pepper to taste
  5. Whisk in up to ½ cup cream for desired consistency

Kid Ratings: Alexandra 9.5, Ronnie 8.5, Reis 9, Riley 7.5

Who’s your favorite Celebrity Chef?  Can you pick just one?  What’s your favorite Celebrity Chef recipe?  Is it Polenta, Bread Pudding or a Shrimp Scampi?  We want to know!  Join #SundaySupperthis week at 7pm Eastern Time on Twitter and tell us all about your favorite Celebrity Chef inspired recipe!


Starters or Snacks :

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog  – Oyster and Brie Soup and Wine Pairings for Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper

Linda at The Urban Mrs. – Inspired by Bobby Flay, Lobster Chowder with Roasted Corn Salsa

Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts – Rachael Ray’s Cinnamon Popcorn

Cindy over at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings – Jamie Oliver’s Bread and Tomato Soup

Jeff at The Catholic Foodie – Drop Biscuits – Breakfast with Chef John Besh

Renee over at Kudos Kitchen By Renee – Giada De Laurentiis’ Garlic Toasts With Red Pepper Aioli


The Main Dish:

Sheila at Cooking Underwriter – Paula Deen’s  Chicken in a Crock Pot w/ Sauerkraut and Apples

Laura over at Small Wallet Big Appetite – Martin Yan’s Beef Chow Fun

Sarah over at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends – Michael Symon’s Lola burger with crab tater tots

Susan at The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen – Ina Garten’s Baked Shrimp Scampi

Tammi at Momma’s Meals – Ree Drummond’s Sloppy Joe’s

Lane over at Supper for a Steal – Bobby Flay’s Rosemary Bricked Chicken

Tara from Noshing with the Nolands – Michael Symon’s Pork and Apple Scallopini

Shannon at Country Girl in the Village – Simple Red Sauce over Rigatoni. Inspired by,  Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

Kris over at In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene – Rachael Ray’s Muffin Tin Meatloaf

Nicole from The Daily Dish Recipes – Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pickled Pork Sandwiches

Becca from It’s Yummilicious – Ina Garten’s Grown Up Bacon Mac & Cheese

Alice at  Hip Foodie Mom – Sunday Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes from Kelsey Nixon

Jen over at  Juanita’s Cocina – The Neely’s White Turkey Chili

Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips – Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis

Isabel at Family Foodie – Polenta with Garlicky Shrimp inspired by Chef Todd English

Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet – Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce, From Emeril Lagasse

Bobbi over at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen – Cheesy Poblano Chicken

Patti at Comfy Cuisine – Tyler Florence’s Chicken Francese

Roxanne over at The Roxx Box – Jambalaya Pasta with Penne, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille

Sue from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz – Rachael Ray’s Spicy Corn Chowdah Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Jamie at Mama Mommy Mom – Penne with Asparagus, Smoked Gouda and Prosciutto. Adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis’

Tora over at Tora’s Real Food – Pork and beans with Alton Brown’s pickled pork

Elisabeth over at The Hand That Rocks The Ladle – Emeril’s New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice


Amazing Sides:

Megan from I Run For Wine – Curtis Stone’s Acorn Squash Roasted with Thyme

Sandi over at Midlife Road Trip –  Gabriele Corcos’s Gnocchi di Patate

Shelby at  Diabetic Foodie – Orange Pecan Black Rice, adapted from Ina Garten

Katie from She likes Ruffles, He likes Truffles – Chef Fabio Viviani’s Spinach and Artichoke Risotto


Sweet Endings:

Renee over at Magnolia Days – Brownie Tart

Conni at The Foodie Army Wife – Inspired by Ree Drummond – Scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake

Paula over at Vintage Kitchen Notes – Bill Granger´s Cherry Tart

Pam from The Meltaways – Savannah Sheet Cake

Katy over at Happy Baking Days – Mary Berry’s Treacle Tart

Jaime over at Mom’s Test Kitchen – Southern Tea Cakes

Amy over at Kimchi MOM – Crack Pie, I Can’t Quit You

Lyn from The Lovely Pantry – Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Squares

Melanie at From Fast Food to Fresh Food – Sand Tarts

Wine Pairings: 

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Please join on us via Twitter for #SundaySupper on December 2, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.


  1. says

    I’m loving everything about this – the dish, your pictures, your post! I am honestly not that familiar with Todd English, but after seeing that picture, I think I need to change that – what a cutie! 😉

  2. says

    Would you believe I have never made polenta? I suppose it is because of being Southern I lean towards grits. I think it is time for a change and your creamy version sound like a great recipe to use for the first time I cook polenta.

  3. says

    Seriously, how do you pick a favorite celebrity chef when they’re all your favorites? I had the same dilemma! Of course, had I actually been lucky to meet any of my chef crushes (like you) I would have gone directly to one of their recipes as well. LOL
    Chef Todd English is definitely one handsome dish! Oh, and your cheesy semolina polenta with shrimp is one mighty fine looking dish as well :)

  4. says

    I could dive into that pot and drown a happy girl. What an awesome recipe! I love Polenta but have only had it served firm. This creamy delight sounds spectacular. A must try soon.

  5. says

    Loved reading you post. I have never had anything like this but it looks so amazing!! I will have to try cooking with polenta more, great photo too!

  6. says

    Your right Isabel, it was so hard to just pick one, their are so many Chef’s that I look up to, admire and watch all the time! It’s funny you say that Paula Deen says if you can dream it, with hard work, you can achieve it because I feel like you give me that inspiration!! Thank you for sharing, and as always for being you!

  7. says

    Love shrimp, love the recipe & most of all love that glam pic with the chef :) What an honor to have eaten a meal prepared by him ! I use semolina a lot, but never with shrimp. Must try this !

  8. says

    When my stepdaughter went to Wellesley, we would always go to Todd English’s Figs restaurant when we went for a visit. Figs and Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger were both in the same small town. I miss those trips!

  9. says

    You are such a beautiful woman – that picture makes me grin – how awesome to meet (and dine with…) Todd English.

    I must admit I have never done a Polenta either and it’s time for me to change that. This looks absolutely fabulous!!

  10. says

    Isabel, this dish is stunning! I have to stick with the cornmeal polenta because of the wheat allergy, but I bet the semolina is so creamy. I know it is possible to make the cornmeal kind creamy, but my hubby prefers it more firm in little cakes, like pictured in my #SundaySupper post.

  11. says

    I was just thinking that I was pretty sure you would be making a dish by Emeril. But Todd English is gorgeous and talented. I would love to eat a meal prepared by Todd English. This dish sounds and looks beautiful Isabel. And I love the little coffe cup icons at the top of your page. So cute! Happy #SundaySupper.

  12. says

    What a great story Isabel! I am so excited by this post. I have been looking for a great grits recipe to go along with a Cajun style shrimp I make. But every time I try to make the grits they just don’t seem right. I can’t wait to try these!!

  13. says

    Hi Isabel! I love that you chose a chef that we might not know. . and yes, good, quality ingredients. . that’s pretty much all you need! LOVE that!! :) I really loved this post! and you look great by the way! How I would love to have a photo with my Fave chef!!!

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