How To'sTips

How to Make Perfect Polenta

By Christopher Stewart | May 23, 2013

polenta, how to, tips,

Photo by Mike

Polenta is a popular item that has been on the restaurant scene for a couple of years now. It usually sits under deliciously rich stews, but it has come out from hiding in the past few years as the main attraction. For brunch with poached eggs, grilled with tangy balsamic vinegar or added in a cake for texture, polenta is here to stay. Different cultures have different names and ways of making polenta but the great thing about it, is that it’s not a costly grain and that it goes a long way. Polenta, a course or finely ground yellow cornmeal, it usually expands to 4-5 times its volume when cooked in your desired liquid, which is great because you can make several dishes from one pot. Learn how to make polenta apart of your next meal with these simple tips and 5 delicious recipes that will highlight polenta all throughout the week.

The importance of Liquid: 

Polenta needs a good amount of liquid when cooking. Whether it be water or your favorite stock or broth, polenta loves liquids. Whisking the polenta into your simmering liquid will reduce clumps versus stirring with a spoon or fork. A smooth consistency is what you are trying to achieve.

Flavors: 

Polenta is exceptional in the fact that it can adapt and work well with a lot of strong flavors. From herbs to add-ins and everything in between, creamy polenta is the starting point to build flavors.

The Next Day :

Polenta is great in the fact that one pot can make multiple meals and it’s also flexible with a variety of cooking methods. With your left over polenta is still hot, pour onto a heavily greased rimmed baking sheet. Flatten the polenta, making sure it’s even, and chill until the polenta is set. When polenta is chilled it is now ready to cut into various shapes and sizes (cookie cutters are fun!) and to be cooked a number of ways including seared and grilled. When searing or grilling be sure to lightly oil your shaped polenta to avoid sticking.

Make polenta the star of your dinner table with these 5 delicious recipes: 

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