I feel that flamingweasel's method is too laborous (constant stiring) and scary (don't ever let it boil) to be practical. Too many people, I think, are put off by the traditional method of making polenta. However, it is too cheap and tasty to be ignored, and makes a great sidedish to ox tail stew, ragu, braised meats, and fried eggs. Luckily I have uncovered a much easier, hands off method for preparing polenta.
- 1 cup of polenta (very roughly ground corn meal), AKA corn grits. My favorite brand is "Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits".
- salt and pepper to taste.
- 3-5 cups of liquid (water, stock, and/or milk) Milk makes it yummy
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease a large oven proof pan with a tight fitting lid, cast iron skillet, or dutch oven works great.
- Pour the corn meal into the pan.
- Pour in the appropriate amount of liquid.
- 3 cups for very firm polenta suitable for cooling, slicing and frying.
- 4 cups for softish polenta suitable to be topped by a stew, braise, or ragu
- 5 cups for a very soft polenta suitable for serving in a bowl topped with cheese or whatever you think sounds good.
- Add the salt,pepper and olive oil then mix it a bit. At this point it will be completely seperate. Never fear, it will all come together at about the 30 minute mark.
- Cook in the oven for 40 minutes covered.
- At the 40 minute mark, uncover, stir well and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes uncovered or until it looks done
- Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes and serve.