Polenta is made from ground yellow or white corn meal. Still known today as peasant food, this corn ‘gruel’ or porridge doesn’t defer from it being a popular meal on its own or as a comforting accompaniment to many dishes.
Cooked and seasoned correctly, soft polenta most probably has improved from humble origins, to transform into a delicious ingredient that will leave people asking ‘please Sir, I want some more’.
1 cup (175 g) coarse polenta
750ml stock (vegetable, chicken or beef – depending on the matching dish)
100g grated Parmesan cheese
Bring the water, stock and a pinch of salt to the boil in a large heavy based saucepan.
Add your polenta in a steady stream while whisking vigorously. Whisk the polenta until the mixture starts to boil and continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes (This will make sure that you end up with a polenta that is lump free).
With a wooden spoon stir the polenta almost constantly until it forms a solid mass and comes away from the sides of the saucepan. Brace yourself, as this will take 20 minutes.
Add your butter and Parmesan and season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.
Serve instantly alongside seafood, meat or vegetables orby itself with a sauce.
* Soft polenta will get firmer as it cools, however it is not firm enough to cut and fry. Instead for a crispy alternative transfer your warm polenta (or leftover polenta) to an oiled baking dish, scatter with more grated Parmesan and place under the grill for 5 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Serves 4 -6