Recipe: Polenta, creamy

I tried to make creamy polenta four times, following recipes, including Felicity Cloake’s usually spot-on Guardian pages. Every time it would land on the plate with a thud and be a solid block by the time we were eating. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a block of polenta: you can slice it and pan-fry it, delish. But if you want a creamy porridge of polenta to go with some roast chicken, that ain’t no good.

So I played with the recipe and got it to work. So here’s mine:

50g fine polenta
150ml milk
350ml water (I use chicken stock for more flavour)
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
40g parmesan

The main point is: make your polenta with a ratio of 10-to-1 liquid-to-polenta. You can change the amount of milk, or use no milk, you can skip the bay leaves, but you need 10:1 liquid to polenta.

Get the milk, water and bay leaves up to a boil, then sprinkle in the polenta while stirring. Sprinkle slowly otherwise you’ll end up with lumps. Your polenta should already have thickened up to thick wallpaper paste. Then just drop it to the lowest simmer and stir every minute or so for 25 minutes. Then you can season it and stir in the parmesan (and a lump of butter would make it even richer).

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