Polenta

Polenta

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes

Polenta - The ingredients

Total Cost: UK/£ 1,62*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 0,20*

“Polentoni”: the northern polenta eaters…

Polenta is a humble food. It belongs to the tradition of the northern Italy cooking: from the East side of Friuli Venezia Giulia to Piedmont in the West, and even in Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, people have cooked and feeding themselves polenta for centuries. We, northern people, were also know with the slightly nipping epithet of “polentoni”: the polenta eaters.

The antithesis of the mediocre global mass-produce philosophy

In the harsh times of the past, sometimes polenta has been the only food available. Now it’s considered a delicacy, a perfect side dish for genuine and tasty food such as meat stews and roasts or mushrooms, cheeses and cold meats. Some rare and valued corn flour have been brought back to the fields by some illuminated farmers and now food lovers cherish those   golden powders not only for their taste, but also for the heritage they stand for. They are the antithesis of the mediocre global mass-produce philosophy.

There are many variations of the recipe: yellow or white maize flour, loose and wobbly to be eaten with a spoon or stiff and firm to be wrapped into a napkin and carried around by the peasants in their pocket.

In this recipes I am giving you the quantities for both a loose and a firm polenta, but according to the brand of flour you will buy, you might need to adjust the proportions on your own.

Instant? … no comment!

You know what? I really do not want to comment on that! I let you fill the gaps…

Knives don’t work…

Traditionally, polenta is cut with a cotton thread: you stretch the thread between the serving board and the polenta, then run it though the hot polenta cutting it into neat portions. A knife blade wouldn’t do a clean job because the polenta would stick to the cold blade. If the polenta is soft and loose instead, you can simply use a large serving spoon to portion and serve it.

Kitchen safety…

One ward of advice: do not – I repeat – do not stick a finger into the cooking polenta! It’s extremely hot and the corn oils would make it adhere to the skin and burn like hell. Also, do not stick the hot polenta coated  finger into your mouth in the futile attempt of giving yourself a quick relief or you’d be talking like you’re chewing a feather pillow for a week…

Related posts and recipes

“Braised Chicken with Herbs – Pollo in Tegame”

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

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Ingredients

  • Ingredients for a firm polenta

  • Yellow polenta flour (corn/maize flour) - 400gr

  • Water - 1,3lt

  • Salt - 12gr

  • Ingredients for a loose polenta

  • Yellow polenta flour (corn/maize flour) - 400gr

  • Water - 2,1lt

  • Salt - 18gr

  • Utensils

  • One deep 4-5lt saucepan (possibly of aluminum or a polenta pan)

  • One whisk

  • One long wooden spatula

  • One serving plate or a wooden board and a cotton thread (for a firm polenta)

  • One capable bowl and a wooden serving spoon (for a loose polenta)

Instructions

  • 1.
    Flavouring the water and putting it to boil

    • Water - 1,3lt (for a firm polenta)
    • Salt - 12g
    • One deep 4-5lt saucepan (possibly of aluminum or a polenta pan)

      Put the cold water to boil on a high heat and add the salt (step 1 - pic. A).
      Let it come to an initial boiling point: the water must bubble but not boil excessively (step 1 - pic. B).

  • 2.
    Adding the polenta flour

    • The boiling water
    • Yellow polenta flour (corn/maize flour) - 400gr (for a firm polenta)
    • One whisk

      Slowly pour the flour into the water while whisking continuously to prevent any lumps (step 2 - pic. A). Keep stirring the mixture as far as is becomes even and smooth (step 2 - pic. B).
      Let the polenta cook on a high heat for no longer than 3 to 4 minutes.

  • 3.
    Cooking the polenta

    • The cooking polenta
    • One long wooden spatula
    • One serving plate or a wooden board (for a firm polenta)
    • Cooking cotton thread

      Set the heat on a medium power and let the polenta cook stirring it only from time to time with a long wooden spoon and letting it rest in between (step 3 - pic. A).
      While cooking, the saucepan’s sides will be covered in a hard and slightly burned layer of polenta (step 3 - pic. B). This is typical of polenta cooking: do not scrape it off.
      The polenta will be ready when the upper edges of this crust will detach from the pan’s sides, for which it will need to cook for about 40 or 45 minuts (step 3 - pic. C). Empty the saucepan directly over the serving plate or the wooden board. Cut the portions using the cotton thread.

Instructions

  • 1.
    Flavouring the water and putting it to boil

    • Water - 1,3lt (for a firm polenta)
    • Salt - 12g
    • One deep 4-5lt saucepan (possibly of aluminum or a polenta pan)

      Put the cold water to boil on a high heat and add the salt (step 1 - pic. A).
      Let it come to an initial boiling point: the water must bubble but not boil excessively (step 1 - pic. B).

  • 2.
    Adding the polenta flour

    • The boiling water
    • Yellow polenta flour (corn/maize flour) - 400gr (for a firm polenta)
    • One whisk

      Slowly pour the flour into the water while whisking continuously to prevent any lumps (step 2 - pic. A). Keep stirring the mixture as far as is becomes even and smooth (step 2 - pic. B).
      Let the polenta cook on a high heat for no longer than 3 to 4 minutes.

  • 3.
    Cooking the polenta

    • The cooking polenta
    • One long wooden spatula
    • One serving plate or a wooden board (for a firm polenta)
    • Cooking cotton thread

      Set the heat on a medium power and let the polenta cook stirring it only from time to time with a long wooden spoon and letting it rest in between (step 3 - pic. A).
      While cooking, the saucepan’s sides will be covered in a hard and slightly burned layer of polenta (step 3 - pic. B). This is typical of polenta cooking: do not scrape it off.
      The polenta will be ready when the upper edges of this crust will detach from the pan’s sides, for which it will need to cook for about 40 or 45 minuts (step 3 - pic. C). Empty the saucepan directly over the serving plate or the wooden board. Cut the portions using the cotton thread.

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