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Thread: How do I turn corn meal into polenta?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question How do I turn corn meal into polenta?

    Hi. I found a bunch of threads that told me dry polenta is just a fancy (and more expensive) way of boxing up corn meal. But I cannot find any directions for turning my plain old corn meal into polenta. Any tips? Thanks.
    For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

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  2. #2
    The way I do it is set 4 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan. Then take 1 1/2 cups of water and slowly add 1 cup cornmeal to it (I just mix it all up in a large mixing cup). Once the water has boiled, slowly pour in the cornmeal/water mix. Then heat to a boil, turn down heat and simmer (covered) for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Then you can either serve it 'soft' or put it into a loaf pan (that has been sprayed with cooking spray) and allow to cool. Once it's cooled, take out the loaf and slice it. These slices can be served immediately or broiled until brown.

    You can also add cheese to the polenta while it's simmering. I like to add a good grated parmesan and lots of spices.

    Good luck!
    The way to become boring is to say everything.
    -- Voltaire

  3. #3
    Jessica,

    Since you're in a polenta mode, I thought you might like this recipe. I haven't tried it yet because I am the only one in my house who will eat polenta, but I'm planning on making it anyway one day because it sounds SO good. It's from Saveur Magazine.

    Also, I don't know much about polenta because I always buy the cornmeal that says it's specially ground for polenta. I think it might be a coarser grain. I could be wrong on this, but I've always used the coarse grained "polenta" cornmeal for polenta and finely milled cornmeal for cornbread.


    Polenta Pie With Gorgonzola

    1 1/2 cups polenta
    Salt
    1 tbsp. butter
    1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
    1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola


    1. In a large pot, whisk 1 1/2 cups polenta into 4 cups cold salted water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until polenta is the consistency of porridge. Lower heat and continue simmering for 5 minutes more; continue stirring constantly.

    2. Add 1 tbsp. butter and 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese. Mix well, until the butter melts, then pour the polenta into a greased cast-iron skillet or ovenproof pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola over the top of the polenta.

    3. Bake in a 350 oven for 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and brown. Remove from oven and slice into wedges. This dish can be served hot or at room temperature.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by claire797
    Also, I don't know much about polenta because I always buy the cornmeal that says it's specially ground for polenta. I think it might be a coarser grain. I could be wrong on this, but I've always used the coarse grained "polenta" cornmeal for polenta and finely milled cornmeal for cornbread.
    I really have to second this. You can certainly make polenta from regular cornmeal, but the texture will be akin to cornmeal mush- if you ever ate that as a kid. Coarse-ground cornmeal, like Bob's Red Mill, can be found in the bulk foods section of regular or natural food stores. It makes "true" polenta - far more textured- it really grabs onto those cheeses/seasonings. It holds up to the stirring and boiling and simmering far better than the finely ground variety.

    have fun experimenting!
    If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

  5. #5
    Originally posted by KValley


    I really have to second this. You can certainly make polenta from regular cornmeal, but the texture will be akin to cornmeal mush- if you ever ate that as a kid. Coarse-ground cornmeal, like Bob's Red Mill, can be found in the bulk foods section of regular or natural food stores. It makes "true" polenta - far more textured- it really grabs onto those cheeses/seasonings. It holds up to the stirring and boiling and simmering far better than the finely ground variety.

    have fun experimenting!
    Thanks for clarifying that! I wasn't exactly sure. I suspected that there were two different kinds and that the fine-milled kind wasn't really for polenta, but people are always calling polenta cornmeal so it was unclear. When I do make polenta, I buy it out of a bulk bin at Central Market labeled "polenta". For cornbread, I used the stuff marked "cornmeal".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    East Tennessee
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    I have always made polenta pretty much the pretty much the same way as m4star. Recently, though, I tried the microwave method posted on this thread It worked really well, and took didn't require nearly as much stirring.

    Claire

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    Atlanta, GA
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    Just wanted to add that the cornmeal I use for polenta is exactly the same thing as the cornmeal *labeled" polenta -- but mine is labeled "coarse-ground" instead. I buy it in bulk, but I've also seen it packaged this way. Either way, "coarse-ground" cornmeal or "polenta" is what you want.
    "What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?"
    By W. C. Fields

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
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    Just popping in to say that polenta is delicious grilled too .

    If you prepare it according to m4star's directions and put it into a loaf pan to cool, then slice into "squares", these can be placed directly on your grill for a few minutes to warm them up and add a little smoky flavor. I usually brush mine with a smidge of olive oil first.

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