From Molly (Woska)-Pruitt


Polenta is the Northern Italian version of a cornmeal mush. Coarsely ground (such as stone-ground) yellow or white cornmeal is cooked with stock or water and may be eaten fresh out of the pot as a porridge or as a perfect accompaniment to stews; or, the cooked porridge may be poured into a greased pan and allowed to set. It is then sliced into squares and sautéed, fried or grilled - often topped with cheese or tomato sauce and sometimes smothered with meat and sauce. The basic polenta is seasoned with salt and pepper though many recipes call for flavorings using onions, garlic and cheese - favorite cheeses are Parmesan and Gorgonzola.



     3          cups Water, divided

     1          teaspoon Salt

     1          cup stone-ground Cornmeal


Bring 2 cups of water to boil over medium heat; meanwhile stir the cornmeal and salt into the 1-cup of cold water. While the water is boiling, whisk in the cornmeal mixture, return to a boil. Cook until polenta is smooth and thick, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Pour into a greased 7 x 11 x 2-inch dish.


Molly also seasoned her polenta to taste about 5 minutes before the finished cooking time with garlic powder and pepper and 1/2-cup grated Parmesan Cheese. Pour into prepared pan.


Cover polenta and allow to set-up in the refrigerator until needed. Slice into squares and grill until heated. Top with chicken and sauce. Pass the Parmesan, it can be sprinkled over the top, if desired. Polenta can be made a day ahead.  Just remember to use your imagination, green chilies, corn, onions, herbs, etc. can be used for a variation of flavors.


Published Aug 10, 2004

Copyright ©2004 The Ponca City News