From Nelsons Kitchen

Tuesday Night Polenta

From Nelson’s Kitchen

Polenta can be a time-consuming dish that requires a long time of stirring. Inspired on Marcela Hazan’s recipe for no-stir polenta, I developed this one that I call a Tuesday Night Polenta. The idea is that it can be done quickly on a busy weekday when you spend all day out of the house and would like to have creamy polenta just a few minutes after coming home. The trick is to start the polenta in the morning before leaving the house, it only requires a few minutes of attention before you leave the house. I also use a technique from the America’s Test Kitchen that adds a pinch of baking soda to the water to create a slightly alkaline solution that breaks down the pectin in the cells of the cornmeal and results in a creamier polenta. If you decide do double the recipe, make sure to measure the two cups of cornmeal into a small dish so that you can continually drizzle and stir in one continuous process. Once, I was doubling the recipe and had to measure the second cup of cornmeal after having incorporated the first one into the boiling water. The result was a lumpy polenta. If you have extra-fine ground polenta, available in Italian stores, you will have a smoother final product.

  1. Morning preparation
    • Put four cups of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
    • Add the salt and the baking soda.
    • Using a good balloon whisk to stir drizzle the polenta into the boiling water stirring constantly.
    • Cook, stirring with the balloon for one minute.
    • Turn off the fire, cover the pan and leave it for several hours — or while you go to the office.
  2. Evening finish
    • Heat up 1/2 cup of water.
    • When you come home in the evening, the polenta will be congealed into a block. Turn on the Use a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces.
    • Add the 1/2 cup of water and keep stirring with the balloon whisk until the polenta is completely smooth. Add more water if needed.
    • Add the butter and serve.