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A question about a recipe: Carlo Middione's Polenta Facile

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I have a question about the recipe "Carlo Middione's Polenta Facile" from Genius Recipes. I bought a brand of polenta that instructed it to go in with the water at lukewarm, not boiling. Do you think I should follow, or is boiling pretty standard across polenta types?

asked by learningbycooking over 1 year ago
10 answers 658 views
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added over 1 year ago

I have seen instructions like this as well; I ignore them. Every Italian cookbook or chef I know uses the technique described here: create a vortex in the boiling water and pour in the polenta while continuing to stir.

Scan0004
added over 1 year ago

Is your polenta instant or slow cooking?

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added over 1 year ago

Lukewarm water just gives a little head start. The polenta won't lump like it will in boiling water. But there are two problems - you can't use lukewarm tap water, so you need to heat water on the stove and watch it. Second, you have to stir it until it boils. So, not worth the trouble.

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added over 1 year ago

Lukewarm water just gives a little head start. The polenta won't lump like it will in boiling water. But there are two problems - you can't use lukewarm tap water, so you need to heat water on the stove and watch it. Second, you have to stir it until it boils. So, not worth the trouble.

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 1 year ago

Bring the water to a SLOW BOIL, just beyond a simmer. Add the polenta a hand full at a time GRADUALLY releasing it from your palm and stirring constantly. This will reduce the risk of lumping. When all the polenta is in the water, increase the heat slightly. Keep stirring. Toward the end the polenta should be spitting back it at you. Duck.

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 1 year ago

Bring the water to a SLOW BOIL, just beyond a simmer. Add the polenta a hand full at a time GRADUALLY releasing it from your palm and stirring constantly. This will reduce the risk of lumping. When all the polenta is in the water, increase the heat slightly. Keep stirring. Toward the end the polenta should be spitting back it at you. Duck.

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 1 year ago

Bring the water to a SLOW BOIL, just beyond a simmer. Add the polenta a hand full at a time GRADUALLY releasing it from your palm and stirring constantly. This will reduce the risk of lumping. When all the polenta is in the water, increase the heat slightly. Keep stirring. Toward the end the polenta should be spitting back it at you. Duck.

Waffle3
added over 1 year ago


Every chef in training is taught to slowly sprinkle polenta into boiling water while whisking vigorously so as not to form lumps. Meanwhile southerners pour their grits into the pot and then stir. Sometimes they put the grits into the pot and then add cold water. Guess what? Southern cooks, who've been making grits longer than the Italians have been fussing over their fancy pants "polenta", know it really doesn't matter. This isn't rocket science.

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added over 1 year ago

Thanks for all the input. It may not be rocket science, but I have been dogged by lumps in the past. I like the logic of a gentle simmer up to boiling with an even sprinkle. Plus the double boiler technique seems like double security. Thanks!

Waffle3
added over 1 year ago


That remark wasn't directed at you, it was about chefs who make a big deal out of a simple thing. My theory is they do that so they can charge a fortune for a simple bowl of porridge.

The double boiler technique has its advantages and disadvantages. It's mainly used to keep a batch warm until service and it does an excellent job of that; it will hold for many hours. The disadvantage to cooking it entirely over water is the corn doesn't develop as much flavor as it will when heated directly over a burner (that's why the traditional method requires almost constant stirring, to keep it from sticking to the bottom).