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Posted: 4/21/2007 10:58:16 AM EDT
Does anyone know how to make it?  
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 11:03:55 AM EDT


Recipe: Polenta
A staple of Italian Jewish cooking
By Joyce Goldstein

Reprinted with permission from Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen (Chronicle Books).

Polenta is a basic accompaniment for many Italian Jewish dishes. It can be served warm, soft, and com­forting as porridge, unadorned or enriched with but­ter or cheese. Or it can be allowed to firm up and then cut into slices to be baked, fried, or grilled.


1 cup polenta (not instant)

1 teaspoon salt, plus salt to taste

4 cups water or as needed

3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Combine the polenta, one teaspoon salt, and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, whisking occasionally. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often, until very thick and no longer grainy on the tongue, about 30 minutes. If the polenta thickens too quickly but still feels undercooked and grainy, stir in some hot water and continue to cook until it is cooked through and soft. Season to taste with salt and add the butter or cheese, if desired.

Serve warm right out of the pot. You may hold it over hot water in a double boiler for a half hour or so, adding hot water as needed to keep it soft and spoonable. Or pour the polenta out onto a buttered or oiled 9-by-12-inch baking pan or baking sheet, let cool, cover, and refrig­erate until fully set. Cut the polenta into strips or triangles while it is still in the pan.

To sauté, cook the polenta strips or triangles over high heat in clarified butter or olive oil in a nonstick or cast-iron frying pan until golden on both sides.

To bake, preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Place the polenta strips or triangles in but­tered gratin dishes and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake until golden and crusty, 20 to 30 minutes.

To deep-fry, coat the strips or triangles with flour, then beaten egg, then bread crumbs. Deep-fry a few pieces at a time in olive oil heated to 350 degrees F. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 11:08:12 AM EDT
yum!  Thanks!
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 12:23:42 PM EDT
I haven't found making it to be worth the trouble.  When it starts boiling it starts "plopping" globs of hot cornmeal over everything, including your hands and arms.

I like polenta, but I just buy it from the store.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 12:26:59 PM EDT
Heck, I don't even know what it is.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 12:30:17 PM EDT
Can't we just use GRITS? This here is THE SOUTH dangit.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 12:43:48 PM EDT
Use milk instead of water.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 12:48:52 PM EDT
Use milk instead of water.


I used to make polenta alot-i was a chef- use milk or stock. i spread it out on a cookie pan and refrigerate it and then take a cookie cutter or cut it into triangles and grill it.

Very good stuff
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 1:00:11 PM EDT
Use stone ground corn meal.

Link Posted: 4/21/2007 1:09:47 PM EDT
My grandmother used to make it in a big vat, and stir it with a broom handle.
I would rather eat my socks.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 2:30:10 PM EDT
I think polenta is nasty! But if you like the grocery stores(around here at least) sell it in tubes like cookie dough.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 3:05:47 PM EDT
Use the store bought tubes.  Save the labor.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 3:24:37 PM EDT
My aunt picked up a hand-hammered copper put from Italy last time she was there.  I've got my nona's hand-carved polenta stick that doubled as an ass breaker.  Makes the best polenta.  But I agree it a helleva lot easier to buy the store stuff.  
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 3:38:00 PM EDT
Polenta looks really good when you see it cooked and sliced, but it's all a sham.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 4:00:18 PM EDT
The Polenta I've eaten ended up like a sweet squash caserole than sliced grits.  I have it cooking in my crock pot.  I hope it turns out all right.

Link Posted: 4/21/2007 4:16:02 PM EDT

Heck, I don't even know what it is.

<Louis Gosset Jr. speaking to young Kunta Kente> They's Grits, Dummy!<Louis Gosset Jr.>
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