- Cornmeal Flour 250 Grams
- Water 1 Liter
- Salt 1 teaspoon
- Cheese 50 Grams
- Butter 50 Grams
Water and corn flour: these are two simple products you need to make classic polenta.
Cooking polenta is recommended in a pan of copper or cast iron with thick walls. But the usual pot with a thick bottom perfectly cope with this task. Bring water to a boil, salt it, and, while stirring constantly, add corn flour. A stir should be a wooden spatula.
Continue cooking the polenta for 25-30 minutes, reducing the heat to low. Do not forget to stir constantly! Polenta will begin to separate from the bottom and walls of the pan, and a crust will begin to appear on the walls themselves.
Put the polenta on a cutting board, flatten it with a spatula, let it cool a little.
When cooled, polenta freezes, so that it can be cut into portions.
To serve, pour polenta over melted butter on top and sprinkle with grated parmesan or cheese.
What is this dish?
Polenta is a national Italian dish that is especially popular in the northern part of Italy. The name is beautiful and complex, but the dish itself is simple, as it represents the most common corn porridge, similar to the well-known hominy.
It is believed that corn was brought to Europe from America in the 16th century. The prototype of polenta is considered to be the ancient Roman porridge pulse. Initially, the dish was consumed only by the poor and peasants, but then the chefs began to improve and modify it, and now it is served even in expensive restaurants.
Traditionally, polenta was cooked in a cauldron by mixing corn grits with water and stirring the mass for 30-40 minutes. Then the composition was shifted to wooden trays, thickened, chopped and served. But this recipe is far from being the only one; today there are a lot of polenta cooking options.
The use of polenta is explained by its main component - corn grits. It contains sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, biotin, fiber, carbohydrates and proteins, vitamins E, groups B, A, PP, and many other useful substances. The caloric value of 100 grams of polenta is about 100 calories.
Here are some useful properties of polenta:
- With regular use of corn porridge will help reduce the level of harmful cholesterol.
- Polenta improves the cardiovascular system, as it makes elastic and strengthens the vascular walls (thanks to vitamin C), and also nourishes the heart muscle (nutrition is provided by potassium).
- If you include such a dish in your diet, you can normalize the metabolism, which will not only contribute to weight loss, but also improve the performance of all body systems.
- Part of the fiber, firstly, normalizes digestion, and secondly, removes toxins and slags and cleanses the intestines.
- Polenta is very useful for the skin (not for nothing that all Italians are so beautiful and for a long time retain their youth), as it contains the vitamins A and E necessary for its normal state, which nourish and moisturize the skin, as well as improve their color.
- The dish can be called diet. Firstly, it contributes to the normalization of body weight due to the acceleration of metabolism. Secondly, it gives satiety for a long time. And, thirdly, in polenta a few calories.
- Phosphorus is good for the brain and noticeably improves its activity.
- Zinc, which is part, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Since iron is part of corn grits, polenta is useful for anemia.
- It is worth noting that the composition of corn grits is not gluten, which means that it can be considered hypoallergenic.
Polenta is contraindicated in gastric ulcer and gastritis in the acute stage. In addition, if used excessively, it can cause constipation.
For cooking you will need:
- 1 liter of water
- 1 cup of corn grits,
- salt to taste.
- Pour water into the pot and set it on fire.
- When the water boils, salt it and start to gradually add corn grits, constantly stirring the mass with a spoon.
- When the composition begins to boil again (you will understand this by the bubbles that form), reduce the heat.
- Boil the polenta for about half an hour, stirring it constantly. Add water or cereal if necessary. The finished mass will easily fall behind the walls of the pan.
- Transfer the composition to the tray, give it the desired shape and cool.
You can make a delicious and delicious polenta with cheese. Here's what you need:
- 300 grams of cereal,
- 1 liter of water
- 200 grams of any hard cheese
- several bunches of greens
- 30-40 grams of butter.
- Boil water and slowly, stirring everything with a spoon, add corn flour.
- Reduce the fire to a minimum and cook porridge for about half an hour, not forgetting to constantly stir it. Add oil at the end.
- Ready polenta move into a detachable form and cool completely (you can send it to the cold).
- Now cut the polenta longitudinally into several circles.
- Grate the cheese, wash the herbs, dry and chop finely.
- Place a piece of cheese and greens on the lower circle, put the next circle, sprinkle it with cheese and greens too. Sprinkle the last circle lightly with greens and cheese on top.
- Send the polenta to the oven for just ten minutes, so that a light ruddy crust appears and the cheese is completely melted. Done!
- 1 cup of corn flour,
- 1 liter of milk,
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- 50 grams of dried apricots,
- 50 grams of prunes.
- Cook simple polenta in milk.
- Prunes and dried apricots pour boiling water for 20 or 30 minutes so that they soften. Slice dried fruits if they are large.
- Mix the polenta with honey and dried fruits that did not cool down, put into a baking dish and send to the oven for 15 minutes.
- half a cup of cornmeal,
- 1.5 glasses of water
- 100 grams of cheese
- 1 eggplant,
- 3 tomatoes,
- pepper and salt to taste
- vegetable oil.
- Boil the polenta and add the grated cheese and salt to the hot mass.
- Eggplant cut into rings and fry on both sides in a frying pan.
- Tomatoes also need to be cut into rings.
- Put ready-made hot polenta in an even layer in a baking dish, greased with butter.
- Put eggplants on top and then tomatoes.
- Bake the polenta in the oven at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes.
How and with what to file?
Ready-made fresh polenta can be baked in an oil pan or even grilled and served as a side dish to meat or fish. This dish goes well with vegetables and various sauces.
Sweet polenta is a great dessert for tea. It can be served with jams, cream, jam, syrups and so on.
- Add different spices and seasonings, experiment with taste.
- You can control the consistency of polenta by changing the proportions of water and corn flour.
- Hard polenta can be cut with a regular knife, pizza cutter, or even with a strong thread.
Be sure to please your loved ones with polenta!
Polenta: a short culinary dossier
Polenta has been known since at least the 16th century. It is fair to say that long before Columbus brought corn to Italy, similar porridge was cooked on the basis of crushed chestnuts, peas, buckwheat, millet, and all this was called polenta. But after the expansion of the corn cobs in the northern provinces of Italy, the history of polenta began a new countdown.
Corn polenta is porridge, bread, and pasta, in general, what the peasants of Lombardy, Piedmont and other northern regions started and ended their day with. Arrogant Southerners nicknamed them polentoni (polenta eaters), receiving in response from their northern cousins no less caustic - maccheroni (pasta).
Each region has made its own additions to the polenta recipe, mainly from the desire to make this simple dish even tastier. Even without the temperament of an Italian chef, you can experiment in your own kitchen and learn everything, as they say, empirically.
How to cook corn polenta: important details
But that's not all. Experts advise: for polenta to go soft, use 3 parts of water and 1 one part of corn flour, plus 40-50 minutes of constant stirring over low heat. All other cooking methods are considered frivolous deviations from well-established rules.
"Historical" technology involves the use of copper cookware - the boiler, in which porridge is cooked, and pans, in which ready porridge is fried (the latter is optional). Once this process did not go without a special Paiolo polenta pot hanging over the hearth and a long wooden spoon known as Tarello.
In a modern kitchen, it is enough to have a good heavy pot with a thick bottom and cornmeal or (if lucky) a package of fast polenta. Although chef work is not as laborious as before, corn polenta still requires attention and periodic stirring.
Basic polenta recipe
- 1.5 glasses of water
- half a cup of yellow corn flour
- salt to taste
The readiness of polenta is easily determined visually: porridge begins to lag behind the walls and easily separate from the bottom, forming crusts on the walls of the pan. If we correctly calculated the amount of flour and diligently stirred, the consistency will be perfect, uniform, creamy.
Polenta turns thicker than we would like? It does not matter, add a little boiling water from the kettle and continue to stir to the desired density.
Next, polenta can be put on a cutting board, cool and give it the desired shape.
That's all the secrets of polenta.
Cal. 1 serving of 200 kcal.
If there is no copper utensils (and most likely, this is the case), use a thick-walled cast-iron pot.
Cornmeal in the absence of can be replaced with corn grits. This is worse, but acceptable. Stirring is not canceled in this case, but readiness comes earlier - as a rule, in 20-25 minutes. If you use polenta packaging, cook according to the instructions.
Polenta cooking and serving options
The key to the popularity of polenta is its versatility. Cornmeal polenta can be transformed, like Cinderella: it looks like a rustic simpleton - just corn porridge! - It appears in the form of elegantly cut tails from the cook of Grande cuisine.
In Italy, soft, warm polenta often replaces bread with meals, or is served instead of pasta, with cheese and truffle oil.
Polenta can also be served as a Contorno (side dish) to original meat dishes, such as Osso Buco (meat stew in wine), lamb or rabbit meat. In Venice, corn polenta is a must-have accompaniment to all fish dishes.
Due to the homogeneous structure of the finished polenta, it can be easily divided into parts in the form of briquettes. They are heated in an oven or a microwave, and a piece of feta is laid on top or cream cheese is spread, completing the structure with pickled sweet pepper for piquancy. Want something more original? Place thin slices of bacon on top of the polenta.
Another option for the oven: grate Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) and sandwich them with several improvised “cakes” from the cooled polenta, folding them in the form of a cake, then bake quickly - why not Napoleon?
Polenta behaves perfectly on the grill, toasted pieces of polenta spread on a slice of fresh bruschetta like traditional mushroom and tomato stuffing.
With the remnants of polenta, you can do even easier. Without additional trouble, fry in a pan in butter, sprinkling at the end with any hard cheese.
Sweet polenta is eaten for breakfast, dipping small pieces of coffee with milk or cappuccino.
A bit of history
The idea belongs to the ancient Romans. - they began to cook porridge "pulse", which later became the prototype of polenta.
The difference between the two foods is that pulse cooked from millet, chickpea, barley, and polenta - from corn, which became available to Europeans only at the end of the XVI century, when its grains were brought to the Old World from America.
For a long time it was food for the poor. - wandering monks, peasants. They prepared it in a large copper pot, mixing it carefully, so that, when thickened, the porridge would not flow from the wooden paddle stirrer.
Later, other products were added to the corn. (seafood, cheese, vegetables, mushrooms) - and the food of the poor moved to the tables of wealthy citizens. Today, it is cooked in home kitchens, restaurants, taverns.
This is an independent dish with various additives or side dish.. It is hard or soft, designed for first and second courses or desserts (in this case sugar is added to it).
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The tradition of eating porridge from corn grits, its benefits and harm
Polenta in its purest form is most often prepared at home for breakfast.. One of the traditional options is to cut it into slices and eat it, dipping it into a cup of cappuccino.
In the cafe it is usually served (as a main dish) with sauce.whose options - a great many. Polenta (already in the status of a side dish) does not do fish dishes, as well as Italian classic Osso Buco - meat stewed in wine.
Very often, sliced polenta replaces Italians with bread or pasta (in this case, it is supplemented with truffle oil and cheese).
She is nice cold and hot (this variant in Italy is considered a traditional winter food), granular in its structure and tender like cream.
How to cook at home
There are a lot of ways to prepare this dish.
That it, regardless of the recipe, turned out delicious need to know a few rules on how to cook polenta:
- traditional component ratio - 1 part corn flour 3 parts water (it varies depending on what density the product should be obtained in the end),
cooking time on a slow fire - from 40 to 50 minutes,
if corn flour is replaced by grits, which is allowed, the cooking time is reduced to 20-25 minutes,
need to stir constantly, long wooden spoon,
How to choose ingredients in the store
Even the most experienced housewife will not succeed without high-quality flour of tasty food.. The secret of corn flour is that during the cooking process, the starch particles dissolve and the finished “porridge” even looks visually creamy, smooth, and you can learn from its many fans how much it tastes good.
What happens if the flour is substandard, cheap or fake? Large particles do not dissolve completely, creating a feeling of "sand in the mouth".
To avoid such trouble you need to buy the product in large stores, cooperating with reliable manufacturersand if you're lucky, buy real Italian flour.
The classic cooking recipe in cooking
This recipe is based on the ratio of one and a half cups of water to half a cup of flour..
In the hot, but not yet boiling water gently, in small portions, pour the flourstirring the contents of the pan. Salt to taste. Cook, continuing to stir, for half an hour.
The following signs indicate readiness: the mass will be well separated from the walls and bottom, and where it is in contact with hot surfaces, crusts form.
It is allowed (if the density of the product seems excessive) to add a small amount of hot water from the kettle. After this, cooking is continued.
The finished mass is spread on the board and, waiting for it to cool, cut into slices or give it some other necessary form.
The recipe differs from the classic one in that by removing a pan with a practically cooked food from the fire, additional components are introduced into it.
If the preparation of "porridge" went 2.5 cups of flour and 9 cups of water, then for supplements you need to take:
- grated Parmesan cheese - one and a half cups,
milk - one and a half cups,
butter - 10 tablespoons,
Additional products must be at room temperature. When they are placed in the corn porridge and mixed, the butter and cheese should melt.
Polenta is prepared according to the classic recipe.. Then she shifts onto a wet board. It is leveled and cut into pieces. You can use the molds if you want the dish to be more original.
Pieces of "porridge" laid out on plates and pour hot milk.
The corn mixture prepared according to the classic recipe is put on a baking sheet; its layer should not be thicker than one centimeter.
Onions and mushrooms are fried on a separate skillet, a couple of minutes before the readiness, add a little garlic, pour in ¾ cup of dry wine and stew. During this time, most of the alcohol should boil over.
Add melted butter to small portions of flour and mixuntil the mass becomes homogeneous and will resemble a paste by its consistency. It is added to mushrooms. Throw in a handful of finely chopped parsley.
Polenta is cut into small squares, put on each warm mushroom stew and served on the table.
В мультиварке многие хозяйки с удовольствием готовят каши – за ними не нужно пристально следить, чтобы они не убежали, и постоянно размешивать. Итальянское кушанье тоже готовится в мультиварке довольно легко.
В чашу помещают те же ингредиенты, что в классическом рецепте, stirred to avoid lumps, cooked in the "cooking - porridge" mode for 40 minutes. If temperature setting is required, choose 90 degrees.
After the signal of the completion of the work, the contents of the bowl should be mixed and transferred to a bowl.in which it cools a little, and then knock over the board and cut.
It is well made from pear-shaped squash.
To prepare this dish you will need:
- instant polenta - 2 cups,
hard cheese - 1.5 cups,
A wide part of the vegetable is baked in the oven and ground in mashed potatoes. The narrow part of the pumpkin is cut into slices and laid out on two sheets for baking, covered with foil and sent to the oven.
Cooked polenta in a large saucepan.. At the final stage, pumpkin puree, butter and grated cheese are introduced into it. Fill this mass with a baking dish, level and close with a layer of pumpkin slices, placing them like fish scales.
Put some butter on top, sprinkle with grated cheese, sent for a quarter of an hour in the oven.
For this dish requires:
- polenta - 1 cup,
This recipe also uses fast polenta. Cooking, fill it with a glass baking dish. Separately in a pan stew spinach with a small amount of garlic. And on the grill, they fry the slices of cheese, a crisp should be formed on both sides.
Before serving, put on a plate a piece of polenta, on top - cheese and spinach.
Here are the necessary ingredients:
- polenta - 1 cup,
peeled shrimps - 450 g,
tomato paste - 3 tablespoons,
Cook polenta fast food. In a separate pan lightly chopped green onions and red pepper are lightly fried. Add tomato paste, water and shrimp to them.that stew minutes two. Pile chopped parsley, grated lemon zest. Polenta is laid out in portions of bowls, shrimp stew is placed on top.
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Recommendations on how and with what is best served
From the polenta you can cook dishes that will look beautiful on the table. Having warmed up neatly sliced pieces in the microwave, they are decorated with diced feta and a slice of pickled cucumber. Sometimes thinly chopped bacon is placed on a corn bed.
Interesting option: cutting slices like cake cakes from polenta, you need to sprinkle them with grated cheese. It will turn out something like the beloved by many "Napoleon".
And what do the Italians usually eat with polenta?
On the principles of cooking classic Italian polenta learn from the chef from the following video:
Italians love polenta so much that a culinary festival is held in its honor.. Right on the street, huge boilers are exhibited, conjuring over cornmeal, turning it into an appetizing treat and serving everyone.
If your heart has not won the polenta after the first culinary experience, make another one or a few attempts, using those products that are especially attractive to you. Polenta and experiment are inseparable concepts.