Polenta can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. This sweet polenta cake demonstrates the versatility of polenta!
Polenta is a dish made using cooked corn meal. It is popular in both Eastern and Western cultures and can either be eaten smooth and hot, or set in the fridge and eaten in slices. Polenta tastes best seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice. It accompanies fish, meat, mushroom and cheese brilliantly.
Polenta is ground cornmeal. It can also be used to make corn breads and tortillas when mixed with finer flour such as wheat or maize meal.
Depending on the method used and the sort of outcome you want, cooking polenta can take a long time. Smooth, liquid polenta is served hot alongside meat or vegetables. For firm polenta, leave the creamy mixture to cool. Cool polenta is then cut in to strips or shapes. It works well with salads but firm polenta can also be fried.
Add a cupful of polenta per person into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring gently to the boil, stirring continuously. Keep adding water to keep the polenta to the desired consistency. Cooking will typically take around 10-15 minutes.
Polenta can be used as an alternative to rice, bread or mashed potato. Vary the consistency accordingly: a runny polenta can be spooned onto a large plate to accompany meat or vegetable dishes. Alternatively, polenta can be left to cool down, during which time it will become firmer and cake-like. It can then be cut into pieces and served accordingly.
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