Recipe: Creamy polenta, 2 ways, by Chef Leo Davila

Served with mushroom chorizo gravy, this recipe is the perfect holiday side for foodies

Creamy polenta, 2 ways, with Chef Leo Davila of Stixs & Stone. (John Marr, Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Chef Leo Davila with Stixs & Stone restaurant in San Antonio is at it again - plating up two creamy polenta recipes for your holiday table.

Check them out below.

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Creamy Polenta, 2 ways, served with a mushroom chorizo gravy

For the polenta

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 ounces white cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

For the mushroom chorizo gravy

  • 8 ounces chorizo
  • 3 ounces onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces Oaxaca, white cheddar or any melting cheese
  • 8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • Salt & pepper, as needed
  • Cornstarch, as needed
  • Chicken stock, as needed
  • 4 ounces green onions, cut on the bias


For the Polenta

Option 1:

1. Bring milk and 3 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium. Whisking constantly, gradually add polenta; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook, whisking every 10–15 minutes, until thickened and no longer gritty, 30–35 minutes. Remove from heat and add Parmesan, butter and salt. Cook, whisking, until butter and cheese are melted and polenta is the consistency of porridge, about 1 minute.

2. Do ahead: Polenta can be made 3 hours ahead of time. Store covered at room temperature. Reheat over medium-low, adding milk as needed to loosen.

Option 2 – Baked & pan-fried:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, pour out creamy polenta mixture. Using a spatula, spread out polenta evenly to ensure a consistent bake. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and delicious.

2. Slide baked polenta onto a cutting board, using a knife, or festive cookie cutters, cut out 1″ x 1″ squares. Preheat a saute pan, add oil and saute the polenta squares for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside for assembly.

For the Mushroom-Chorizo Gravy

1. Preheat a saucepot to medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil plus onions and garlic; saute for 5-7 minutes.

2. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, continuously stirring to ensure you do not burn the mixture.

3. Add chorizo and cook for 5-7 minutes.

4. Add 4 ounces of chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes. Make a cornstarch slurry, add to thicken up the gravy. Be careful not to add too much. Add then cook for 4 minutes at a time.

5. Serve immediately.

For the creamy polenta plate up

1. Add polenta to a bowl or small serving ramekin.

2. Finish with the mushroom-chorizo gravy.

3. Garnish with green onions.

For the baked & pan-fried polenta plate up

1. Place cut-out polenta onto a serving dish or a charcuterie board.

2. Finish with the mushroom chorizo gravy.

3. Garnish with green onions.

About the Author

Diana Winters is a San Antonio-area native, Emmy award-winning and GLAAD-nominated journalist who loves the Alamo City. She is the executive producer of SA Live, creator of South Texas PRIDE and co-creator of Texas Eats.

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