Polenta, polenta, polenta. It used to be that I didn´t see the point of polenta, not at all. All that effort for something so bland, why?
But somehow reading about polenta always made me hungry, and I always have a bag of cornmeal to make the underside of my bread crunchy, so it was only a matter of time before I made it. I just didn´t want to stir for hours, so I turned to my gadgetry.
The Thermomix makes a good polenta, no question. Just use the proportion of any recipe you like, put the butterfly thingy in and set it for 45 minutes. But be warned that cleaning it out is a right bore.
The rice cooker is also great, and easy to clean. Put 1 meassure of cornmeal and 4 of water and you´re good to go.
The pressure cooker is, naturally, the fastest.
All three methods make falling off a log look very complicated, so take your pick. For me, because I´m still in the honeymoon phase and because I´m apt to improvise dinner, the best is the pressure cooker, but all three work perfectly.
Once the polenta is done you can bask in the warm glow of one of the most comfortable comfort foods there are, but before sitting down to eat, remember to pour out what´s left in the pot into a shallow tin or tray so that it can cool and set, and have that the following day in it´s crisp incarnation. It freezes perfectly, and is great food to have on hand for feeding a toddler.
Pressure cooker polenta
(serves 4, with leftovers)
Bring 2 litres of salted water to a boil in the open pressure cooker. Sprinkle 400 gr. of the cornmeal and stir well. Cover, bring up to pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Bring the pressure down quickly, and have a look. It´s a slightly grainy porridge, soft and wonderful, but if you like to have it creamier still add some water and leave it a while longer in the open cooker, stirring well.
Spoon in some butter and black pepper and serve it as a pillow to tomato sauce, or garlicky greens, or a poached egg, or what you will.