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Re: Polenta

>> Does anyone have any recipes for polenta, by any chance? I've tried it
>> before and it's exquisite, but I've got a feeling you need a lot of oil to
>> make it and it seems rather difficult and fiddly...
>> Thanks,
>> Zoe.
>You don't need any oil at all! The way my mum makes it, you just put
>water, polenta flower and some salt (to taste) in a  big pot. once it
>gets to a nice consistency, you plop it out onto a serving plate and
>then scoop it out to the dinner plates. If there are any crusts in the
>pot, just pour a *little* bit of water in, and put it back on the stove
>untill you can scrape the crusts off and use them to eat the molten
>polenta - they're better than tortilla chips!!! If you have any left
>over polenta - just put it in the refrigerator. It will get stiff enough
>that you can cut it into bricks - then bake the bricks in an oven.
>You'll en up with polenta bricks that are crunchy on the outside, and
>moist on the inside. No oil needed, although you might want to make a
>sauce to go along with it. I used to eat my polenta with the gravy from
>my mum's pot roast, which was basically oil with bits of meat floating
>in it (yuck!). Now I just eat it plain or with veggies.  

Some tips for hard polenta vs. soft polenta:  You can pour the cooked
polenta into a loaf pan and keep it in the fridge 'til it cools, then
take it out and slice it using dental floss (unflavoured!) -- this is
a really good way to slice it without the pieces getting crumbly at
all.  You can then pan fry, grill or bake the slices, top with a nice
tomato sauce (or any other sauce that takes your fancy).

The recipe I have for it calls for:
 2 1/2 c. cold water (with 1/2 cup of it kept aside)
2 c. milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. polenta
minced garlic (2 cloves or to taste).

The water, milk, salt, etc, are heated on the stove 'til simmering,
then you take the 1/2 cup reserved cold water and stir it into the
polenta - this measure allows you to add the polenta all at once to
the water without having to really slowly pour it in and prevents the
polenta from clumping up.  The recipe also calls for some oil to be
added, but I've made it without the oil and it's just fine without, or
with a very small amount tossed into the boiling liquid.  You stir it
until the spoon stands up by itself with not much trouble.  This
recipe makes enough for 6, usually, or two meals for two plus a little
left over.

I'm personally a soft polenta aficionado, but my sweetie prefers the
grilled, so we usually eat soft the first day I make it, and
hard/grilled the second.  Works great in a stovetop grill pan.

enjoy! -- neko

     Rosencrantz:  Shouldn't we be doing something... constructive?
Guildenstern:  What did you have in mind?  A short, blunt human pyramid?
            -- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (mid 1960's)
                    kuroneko A T raindogs D O T net