Last week I decided to experiment with one of the grains on the list I'd never cooked with before: millet. A few weeks before, I'd come across a great-looking recipe for millet and cheddar polenta in a recent issue of Fine Cooking and was intrigued to say the least. (Let's face it: I'm intrigued by pretty much anything that sounds like nursery food and contains cheese.) I figured this recipe would be as good a place to start my millet research as any and set to work riffing. The resulting dish, comforting and savory, just may be my new favorite supper to snuggle up on the couch with. —Merrill Stubbs
2 or 3 as dinner, 6 as a side dish
Asiago Fresco or Fontina, diced
crumbled blue cheese (I used Fourme D'Ambert)
Rinse and drain the millet and put it in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the millet starts to smell and look toasty.
Add the milk, 3 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt and the olive oil and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir once, lower the heat so that the liquid is just simmering and cover. Cook the millet for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until it starts to look thick and porridgey. Stir well and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the pan, and adding more water if it seems too thick. The finished porridge should be creamy and thick but still a bit liquid; the millet will have mostly broken down, with a few nutty bites here and there.
Add the cheeses and stir well until they melt. Add more salt and black pepper to taste (I like a lot) of pepper, and stir in the chives just before serving. Spoon a large helping into a bowl, grab a spoon, and cozy up on the couch.