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>Polenta Revisited

Posted on April 29, 2009 by Glutenfreeda

Over the years, we have shared many recipes using polenta as a main ingredient. Polenta continues to be one of our favorite foods and is a wonderful, nutritious addition to a Celiac’s diet.

Polenta is coarse ground corn meal but other than the size of the ground grain, it is the exact same thing as corn meal. Corn meal can be purchased from fine to coarse grind. Fine and medium grinds are generally used for making corn bread, muffins and most baking. When recipes call for polenta, it is the coarsest grind that they refer to.

Different methods of cooking polenta result in different textures. Cooked polenta can be creamy as in soft polenta, to gritty, as when added to a crust. For soft polenta the cooking method is similar to that of risotto, except that for risotto, heated broth is continually added throughout the cooking process and for polenta, the liquid is added all at once. Flavorings are added virtually the same.

There are a few tips to remember when cooking polenta.

  1. Generally, the liquid to polenta ratio is 3 to 1.
  2. Always add polenta to the simmering liquid in a slow steady stream to prevent lumps from forming.
  3. Always stir while adding polenta to liquid, preferably with a wooden spoon.
  4. Cook polenta in a heavy saucepan to avoid burning
  5. It is not necessary to stir polenta continuously once the cooking process has begun, but you must stir every 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Polenta is done when the mass comes away from the pan sides when stirred.

For this feature, we have compiled a varied group of polenta recipes from appetizers to desserts. Polenta is a refreshing change as a side dish from rice, potatoes or pasta and so much more. Explore these recipes and see if you don’t agree that polenta is a fabulous alternative to wheat.

Polenta Puffs
Polenta Croutons
Polenta Berry Pancakes
Braised Beef with Soft Polenta
Polenta Lasagne
Polenta with Smoked Salmon & Poached Eggs
Fried Tomatoes with Polenta
Chocolate Polenta Cakes
Apple Cranberry Polenta Tart


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