Friday, February 11, 2011

Perfecting Polenta

"We need some sunny-ness in February, and polenta - warm, comforting and
bright yellow - offers just that . It can be light and healthy, or luxurious
and rich, and plays host to any topping you can dream up, from hot spicy chili
to ratatouille. A swirl of butter and sharp cheese hits the spot, too.
Polenta is easy to make from scratch but it's also easy to encounter lumps,
burns and difficult cleanups. Here are some tips for a creamy, smooth result:
-Polenta needs to be stirred, but not constantly. Stirring it for one full
minute for every 10 minutes (up to an hour for coarse grain polenta, 5
minutes for fine grain) is sufficient.
-Use a heavy-bottomed pot to prevent scorching.
-Use a ratio of fours parts water to one part polenta. This will allow it to
be creamier and less bitter than if you use a 3:1 ratio.
-Add salt to the boiling water before you add the polenta. It's much easier
to season a starch as it absorbs water rather than at the end of cooking.
-Prevent lumps by whisking the polenta as you add it to the boiling water.
Once the polenta is incorporated, turn the heat to low and whisk a few more
times in the first 10 minutes.
-For simple cleanup, fill the polenta pot overnight with cold water and any
crust should peel off the bottom the next day."

-PCC Sound Consumer Natural kitchen Magazine February 2011