Polenta is one of the plainest foods out there. It’s just cornmeal, water, and a bit of salt. Yeah, super plain! Yet it’s not boring, as it is very versatile, and is quite tasty even by it’s lonesome, plus it’s healthy. Although, it can be a bit tricky to cook because of its habit of lumping…
Now, I happened upon a different way of cooking it, which reduces the chances of lumping to practically zero. The usual way to make it, or, at least, the way everyone I know knows how to make, is kind of like pasta, except you have to gradually pour the cornmeal in the boiling water little by little, just so it won’t lump, you’ll probably still get a lump or too.
As I have OCD tendencies, I will not accept any lumps! So, here’s how you do it:
First, the ingredients:
1 cup Cornmeal
4 cups Cold Water
1/2 to 1 tbs. Salt
This will yield two big portions, the polenta being the main dish, or four small portions to be used as side dishes.
Second, the method:
Pour the cornmeal, water and salt in a thick-bottomed pot, and stir with a wooden spoon to eliminate any possible lumps, then bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, but slowly. You don’t need to use vigorous movements, just keep the water and cornmeal moving inside the pot. This will take around five minutes. When you notice the cornmeal has pretty much absorbed all the water, and it looks like a watery polenta that doesn’t stick to the spoon, move the pot on low and keep stirring. It will thicken rather quick now, so in about two to three minutes it will have the right consistency. And you’re done! Garnish with fried smoked sausage, goat cheese and green onions, or go lighter with just goat cheese and sour cream, or just milk, or plain!