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Vancouver Lori
02-08-2007, 10:42 PM
Recently I have seen several recipes calling for Quick Cooking or Instant Polenta, but I cannot find it in my local grocery stores. Does anyone know who makes it, where it can be found?

Also, does anyone know exactly what the difference between good ol' corn meal, polenta and grits is? I have never had polenta, I only use corn meal in cooking (mostly for keeping bread/pizza crust from sticking), and it has been years since I have had grits (but I don't think I cared for them, so maybe I am wasting my time looking for polenta?).

Thanks for any input.

ebseckar
02-09-2007, 07:14 AM
I recently bought instant polenta at my local Jewel supermarket. It comes in a 20 oz. plastic tub and it is made by Dell'Alpe. I will try and post a picture (instant polenta is in the bottom right of the picture, surrounded by the tubes of pre-cooked polenta):

http://www.dellalpe.com/images/sauces2.jpg

HealthyinMN
02-09-2007, 09:09 AM
Here's the brand I can commonly find around here... it is sometimes located in the section with the rice or in the specialty foods section.

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000HZJYDC.01._AA280_PIbundle-6,TopRight,0,0_AA280_SH20_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

funniegrrl
02-09-2007, 10:18 AM
If you didn't like grits, then you probably won't like polenta. The main difference between the two is that grits are made from white corn and polenta is usually made from yellow. Traditionally grits were made from hominy, which is corn treated with lye, but that's usually not the case any more. I do find the texture different between the two -- grits are usually a little more "loose" -- but the taste is very close. I'd say polenta usually tastes a little more "corny" to me.

I believe the difference between grits/polenta and corn meal is the grain size. A Yankee version of grits/polenta is corn meal mush, after all.

chipotle
02-09-2007, 11:33 AM
I buy polenta in bulk at the health food store. The actual size of each piece is much larger than cornmeal - more like the size of bulgur or cracked wheat.

I've never seen instant polenta here but cooking it is pretty easy to begin with. To cook I take 1 cup (non-instant) polenta and 3 cups water and put it in a microwave-safe container. I zap it on HIGH for 12 minutes, stirring once in the middle if I remember.

kwhite65
02-08-2012, 06:30 PM
I recently made the sausage Ragu over creamy polenta in C.L. (p. 164- January/Feb). It was delicious! I also could not find "instant" polenta, so I just used "Bob's Red Mill" polenta. I found it in the organic section of the grocery store, but it could also possibly be with the grits & cereals. Anyhow, it was so easy to make - I wanted it creamy so I just cooked it about 15 min. (not the 30 min. they said). Next time, I will try to microwave like someone else suggested. It was really good with the Ragu over top. My whole family liked it, which was surprising since I didn't think they cared for grits either.

oceanjasper
02-09-2012, 12:00 AM
I was a polenta hater until just this week. Went to a cooking class where they made creamy polenta. It was not "corny" tasting at all. I really liked it!

Basic recipe was 5 cups of milk to 1 cup of corn meal. Warm the milk until almost boiling and add a splash of olive oil. Then add the corn meal slowly in a steady stream and continue to whisk until the corn meal is hydrated (basically there won't be milk foam on the top anymore). If you stop whisking before full hydration, you will get lumps. Then let simmer on low heat for 20 minutes stirring periodically. If it gets too thick, add additional milk and whisk in. The recipe seemed very forgiving, as it was off the heat for about half an hour and then back on with additional milk and it was perfectly creamy.

ashley5566
02-09-2012, 12:56 AM
Instant or quick-cook polenta - simply stir into simmering water, or stock and its ready in 1 minute. Eat as it is or, once cooked, stir in some freshly grated parmesan or sauted mushrooms.

vbak
02-09-2012, 05:09 PM
I use corn meal. I usually made it with water, but one recipe I tried said to use milk. What a difference!:)

Soupandstew
02-09-2012, 05:46 PM
I usually use instant or quick but have also used the longer cooking (30 min.) type. For us it's a great sub for rice or pasta when you want something to soak up good juices like with braised lamb shanks. Also, I always make a double recipe because it's great as a breakfast side instead of potatoes or bread. Hubby loves squares of leftover polenta sauteed in EVOO, topped with wilted spinach and a poached egg.

PattiA
02-09-2012, 07:06 PM
I also use the Bob's Red Mill Organic Polenta. I find instant polenta to be rubbery. I bake my polenta because whenever I cook it on the stovetop, I end up getting burned by a polenta volcano.



* Exported from MasterCook *

Oven Baked Creamy Polenta

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 1/2 cups water or broth
1 1/8 cup cornmeal, whole-grain -- Bob's Red Mill
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated or shredded

Preheat oven to 425.

In a baking dish, whisk together water, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Cover, and bake 30 minutes, stirring halfway though.

Remove from oven, and add milk, butter and marjoram. Also add Parmesan if using. Whisk briskly until smooth.

I vary the seasonings and cheese depending on what I want to serve it with.

vbak
02-09-2012, 07:40 PM
Interesting recipe that I would like to try. What size baking dish do you use? I will add herbs, but I save the cheese for serving individually-just in case all of the polenta doesn't get eaten. Parm and grueyre are expensive.

DCook
02-10-2012, 08:19 AM
I've never seen instant polenta here but cooking it is pretty easy to begin with. To cook I take 1 cup (non-instant) polenta and 3 cups water and put it in a microwave-safe container. I zap it on HIGH for 12 minutes, stirring once in the middle if I remember


Thanks, I will try this. I too found a nice looking recipe that called for instant polenta and cannot find it in my grocery store. A quick google search told me the way to cook polenta from cornmeal is to cook it on the stove for 30 minutes stirring it constantly. That doesn't work for me with a full time job and two little ones

PattiA
02-10-2012, 12:34 PM
Interesting recipe that I would like to try. What size baking dish do you use? I will add herbs, but I save the cheese for serving individually-just in case all of the polenta doesn't get eaten. Parm and grueyre are expensive.

Oops, sorry about that missing info, I use a 9x9 pan.

vbak
02-10-2012, 03:55 PM
Thanks, Patti.