Creamy Polenta with Parmesan Cheese
Somewhere in its past, polenta picked up a reputation for fussiness. I am here to tell you that it is anything but fussy. You can whip up a pot of creamy polenta in about 30 minutes, and it makes a luscious bed for anything
- 1 tablespoon salt plus extra for seasoning to taste
- 2 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal or polenta
- 10 cups cold water Basically a 4 parts water to 1 part Polenta
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk at room temperature
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Bring the water to a boil. Bring the water to a brisk boil over medium-high heat. Add the salt.
- Pour the polenta into the boiling water. While whisking gently, pour the polenta into the boiling water in a steady stream.
- Continue whisking until polenta is thickened. Turn down the heat to low and continue whisking until the polenta has thickened enough that it doesn't settle back on the bottom of the pan when you stop stirring.
- Cook the polenta 30-40 minutes. Cover the polenta and continue cooking. Stir vigorously every 10 minutes or so, making sure to scrape the sides, bottom, and corners of the pan. Cook 30 minutes for softer porridge-like polenta or 40 minutes for thicker polenta.
- Stir in cheese and butter, if using. Stir the cheese and butter into the polenta, if using. Serve immediately, or cover the pan and let it sit at the back of the stove for up to 15 minutes before serving.
Leftover Polenta: Polenta will solidify into the shape of the container in which you store it. Leftover polenta can be sliced or cubed before being roasted, grilled, or deep-fried. To make it creamy again, warm it with a little broth, milk, or water, and stir vigorously. It won't be quite as creamy as it was originally, but it should still be pourable.
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