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March 16, 2008

Easy Polenta

Conventional wisdom says that making polenta requires tons and tons of stirring. Because of this, I've tended to resort to the "instant" stuff that cooks in 5 minutes, or the stuff you buy in tubes at the grocery store to slice up and saute.

So, I was intrigued to come across the claim by Jack Bishop, in his A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen that you can cook polenta with little stirring if you cook it covered, over low heat. I tried it, and it works. And produces a noticeably nicer polenta than the instant or precooked stuff.

The Ingredients

The Steps

  1. In a largish saucepan, bring the water to a nice, rolling boil. Turn the heat to low and add the salt.
  2. Pour in the cornmeal slowly, whisking constantly. (I actually just stirred rapidly with a wooden spoon. This part is important for not getting lumps. It takes about a minute to get all the cornmeal whisked in.
  3. Cover the saucepan. Cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and the cornmeal doesn't taste raw or gritty.
  4. Stir in the butter, and season to taste with additional salt.

Serves 4-6 people, depending on how much they like polenta.

Posted by spaceling at March 16, 2008 08:03 PM


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