Polenta Recipe

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Introduction: Polenta Recipe

This is the most basic of polenta recipes - I make it like this every time. Making your polenta from scratch lets you control the flavor and salt content, and it always comes out much nicer than ready made polenta in a tube. ;)

Polenta is a great substitute for pasta, and you can do so much more with it. I absolutely love to fry it and I recently made a lasagna from it, too.

Step 1: What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup cornmeal or corn grits
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter/margarine
  • pepper to taste
  • parmesan/romano/asiago - optional but tasty!
This recipe can be easily scaled! This is the amount I make if I'm cooking for 4 people or less. I can normally get two meals out of this amount. :D

You'll also need a large sauce pan and a nice sturdy spoon.

Step 2: Boiling + Adding

Bring the water to a boil and add the corn grits and salt. Stir this well!

Step 3: The Slow Part

Polenta does take a while to cook. Once it's in the boiling water, turn the heat down to low.

Simmer this slowly, stirring frequently. When I say frequently, I mean it! Every 2-3 minutes is perfect. The corn grits suck up all the water pretty quick, but it still needs to cook for a while after so it can get stuck to the bottom of the pan really easily.

Within 20-25 minutes, it will be ready!

You'll know it's good and ready when dragging a spoon through it causes a channel that doesn't fill back up. Your spoon will also be able to stand up in it. :D

Step 4: Finishing

Once it's nice and thick, turn off the heat. Add in a couple tablespoons of butter and some pepper. You can also add some hard cheese at this point!

Stir this in so the butter is distributed throughout. :)

At this point you can serve it as-is with sauce on top or pour it into a bowl that's been greased and let it cool for a few minutes and cut it into slices and then serve!

You can also pour it into a rectangular or square container and let it chill in the fridge for nice slices for lasagna or frying. It's all up to you. :D

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    25 Comments

    Mm polenta I remember when I ate straight from a polenta log once

    hi, i'm from friuli, a region of italy where we use to eat polenta, like, anytime.

    my two only advices are:
    use a kitchen whisk while adding the corn to boiling water, to get a smoother dough.

    use an antiaderent pan to avoid cleaning up after, cause the polenta will make a nice crust that won't stick to the pan, and makes a nice snack.

    Sounds great. Will try this one of these days. Thanks.

    I love corn meal, grits, polenta or whatever you want to call it and prepared most any way you can think of and all kind of things can be added. One of my favorites is to add a couple beaten eggs towards the end of cooking and then break up some crisp cooked bacon on top and melted some cheese.

    I buy my polenta/corngrits in bulk at WINCO

    I'm lazy - I make polenta using my rice cooker.
    I've had good luck with Golden Pheasant brand but not with two others I've tried.

    Ha! I was cooking some right now! it's very common around south america. ¿have you tried making arepas?

    I did try to make arepas a long time ago. I love eating them. :D

    I couldn't find the right corn flour, though, only masa harina, so the texture was all wrong. Boo.

    I had never heard of sopa paraguaya, so I googled it. That is the most un-soup soup ever. Haha! It sounds amazing though :D

    right? I'm assuming when it was invented, the cooker was trying to make soup, but it solidified. The best flour for arepas is the PAN brand. there's a single instructable for arepas that uses that. maybe you can ask him/her where to buy it.

    or sopa paraguaya? (translated: Paraguayan soup. it's nothing like a soup though)

    those are just other ways to cook using corn flour (harina de maíz)

    maan this brought me some childhood memories.. now I want sopa paraguaya :(

    The most difficult thing for beginners is to dose the amount of flour vs water.
    My mom (who left us five years ago, ninety-five years old) told me:
    the salt (which should be the "sea salt", not that "thin" like in the photo) one must put after the water boils and let dissolve well.
    You have to get down the flour slowly so that it does not form lumps,
    and until the water is no longer able to absorb flour.
    This is the right amount of flour respect water.
    No other components for classic "polenta".

    Then, when you have learned to do it well, you can add cheese, also different types.
    For me the best is with "gorgonzola" cheese!
    Buon appetito!
    (Sorry for my english... I'm italian)