Polenta recipes should only be made with the more authentic Italian polenta grain. Instant polenta can shorten the cooking time to less than 10 minutes,
but it is not as tasty or as healthy as the slower cooking heirloom polenta.
What is Polenta? The term polenta actually refers to the traditional Italian preparation of cooking a variety of coarsely ground grains or starches into a porridge. However today, polenta is commonly known as ground cornmeal that is coarse to finely ground in texture.
Polenta is boiled with a liquid to create a porridge like dish. And you can make your polenta recipes creamier by adding in butter, milk, or cheese. You can use the extra creamy polenta with many types of vegetables, meats, and sauces to create wonderful meals. Polenta can make a great replacement for pasta, rice, or even mashed potatoes.
What is Heirloom Polenta?
Your polenta should be made from a corn that at one time culturally grew in Italy. Authentic polenta is an heirloom variety that produces a porridge that is deep in color and in flavor. It comes from a variety of corn called otto file in Italian.
You can also use a medium or coarse ground cornmeal, but it won't be the same as the otto file heirloom variety.
This authentic corn is milled differently than the other types of cornmeal. This yields a different and more consistent grind that produces a more uniform polenta dish.
Polenta Recipes - How to Make Creamy Polenta
4 cups Filtered Water or Chicken Broth or Stock
1 Scant Cup of Polenta
1 tsp. Fine Sea Salt or to taste
2 Tbsp. Grass Fed Butter
1/2 cup Finely Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Put 4 cups of water into a saucepan and add salt to the water. Place on high heat and bring to a boil.
Then slowly add in the polenta while whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce heat to a low setting when thoroughly mixed and stir until thickened.
Then stop whisking and cover saucepan with lid - set timer for 30 minutes. Every 5 to 6 minutes, uncover and stir with a wooden spoon - then put the lid back on.
When polenta is soft and tender, turn off the heat - stir in the butter. Next, stir in the cheese and stir until a really creamy texture.
Again, cover saucepan with the lid and let sit for 5 more minutes on a back burner. Then give one more stir and plate your polenta in a wide bottomed bowl.
Eat your polenta as a creamy porridge topped with a pat of butter.
Or top your polenta with a ragout, sauteed mushrooms, roasted vegetables, or grilled fish.
What Can You Make with Chilled Polenta
Put the creamy polenta in a shallow rectangular dish and put it in the
refrigerator to harden for a few hours.
This will allow you to cut the polenta into
many different shapes.
Then you can grill, fry, stack, or bake the polenta. Polenta recipes can include french-fry-shaped polenta brushed with oil and baked to make polenta french fries.
Or use round polenta cakes to
replace the English muffin in an Eggs Benedict recipe. The ideas are
almost endless for what you can do with chilled polenta recipes.