Friday, March 29, 2019

SOL29: Polenta Problems

            I love corn on the cob. I love cornbread. And I like polenta when I eat it in restaurants. However, my attempts to make it at home have been been very successful.
        First, there’s that stirring, stirring, stirring, as the cornmeal thickens in broth, much like risotto. So when I saw a recipe that said that long stirring process could be skipped, I thought it was time to try again.
            The idea was to bring broth to a boil, add the cornmeal slowly, and stir until it begins to thicken. Then pour into a greased baking pan, cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes.
            I wasn’t sure I’d gotten all the lumps out in the stirring process, but popped the pan into the oven. Forty minutes later, when I removed the pan, it had sort of separated, with a thicker layer on the bottom, but a still liquid layer on top. Clearly, this wasn’t working out as expected. At least I need a better method for adding the cornmeal to the liquid.
            Fortunately, I had some leftover rice that I could use as a base for the vegetable topping I’d made (leek, onion, asparagus). About half an hour after eating, I saw that the polenta had solidified somewhat, but didn’t have much flavor. Alas, I sent it into the trash.
            Have you made polenta? Do you have any tricks?  
I’m participating in the 12th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 1 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


  1. I've never made polenta, but your post reminded me that I want to try making it. I googles polenta and pressure cooker and found some reliable sources. Perhaps I will try polenta in the pressure cooker after I buy the correct ingredients first.

    1. I've never had a pressure cooker. My mom had one, and while it never exploded, I was always afraid it would. I think the major problem was not getting the cornmeal thoroughly dispersed into the liquid. I may try pouring it through a sieve next time.

  2. I've never made polenta. I do however, purchase in a roll. I've thought of making it but now that I've read your post, I might just keep buying it. :)