And how y'all fix it ...
Stovetop or oven, or a mixture of both?
White or yella?
You add dairy?
My fave way is traditional, cooked slowly on top of the stove, stirred with a wooden spoon that's been in the family for generations, and the cook pot is copper (also in the family for generations--but I think my sister has it).
Just about anyway I can get it. Grits or polenta. It is a DH project. So not often enough.
I do 75% of the cooking so we share the odd chores. He does prep chopping and tending the stirs like risotto, etc. Morning coffee, empty dishwasher.
He tried to help by wiping down the appliances this morning, lol. What a mess. One step forward, two steps back. Swirly-town. So much worse than before, 😂
He only gets polenta if he makes it. But is most often off reading somewhere.
Stovetop. Extra made for cast iron seared for next day breakfast.
Stove stop, slowly cooked. Yellow only. And I prefer it creamy as well. The only dairy I include is Parmesan cheese and not always even that. But I do switch out other flavorings as the mood hits.....roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, basil and chives, porcini mushrooms.
And while I adore polenta, I have never cared for grits! Go figure :-)
I've eaten it, but haven't made it much. I should, I like polenta- and grits too on the rare occasion they are good.
I used to get hard tube polenta from a small foods store in Chicago that was wonderful for just slicing and frying up. It had dried tomato, herbs, and maybe peppers in in it? I would make cake polenta like that if I knew a good T&T recipe.
I like and sometimes make creamy polenta- kind of make it risotto style, low and slow with additions of the liquid. That's good with just stock or kind of creamy up at the end. It's done stovetop.
What do folks do to bake polenta?
I wish I knew how to make what I consider good grits. I've had these magical mouth melty creamy just the right spicy but not with fatty rich.. mmmmmmm. And a whole lotta- well, grits, gritty like badly done cornbread not cool. And paste of what happened to that?
Yellow. Stovetop. No dairy. Maybe stock, maybe firmed up and fried.
I like both. Polenta on the stove top, with chicken stock. Slow. I don't like mine runny, with too much liquid. I always put the leftover in a pan in the fridge to slice the next day and fry.
Beesneeds, I buy 'old fashioned' grits, and add extra water. Cook time is supposed to be 15-20 minutes after the hard boil, I go 20-25 minimum, stir well, often. If for breakfast, just water with pepper and butter. If for dinner I add a splash of cream or milk, cheese if it goes with the meal, and season. Always creamy. Cooking longer makes it creamy. I'll add more liquid just to keep it going. I've yet to make it, but I've eaten fried grits. Yummy!
Cooked with milk, rosemary, garlic, parmesan and leftovers fried in butter.
It's a nice base for assertive cheeses like gorganzola or asiago but mostly as long as it's cheesy, creamy and flavorful it's a wonderful base for all kinds of proteins with pan juices. Love it with seared pork, scallops or shrimp. I prefer potato with beef.
I have made grits, but never polenta. Have recently learned to cook grits in the Instant Pot and now cook them frequently; it is a no fail process.
Would any of you be willing to share your tried and true recipes for polenta. It sounds good and I have wanted to try cooking it.
You don't really need a "recipe" for polenta. It is just 4 parts liquid to one part polenta (either fine or coarse ground cornmeal). The liquid is usually water or chicken stock but I guess you could use milk (I never have).
Bring the salted liquid to a boil, slowly stir in the polenta until it is fully incorporated and with no lumps. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken and becomes creamy....about 30 minutes (less for the instant stuff). You can add more liquid if it gets too thick. When fully cooked and creamy, then add in a knob of butter and any other seasonings you want, including the parmesan.
Thank you, @gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
Hugh fearnley Whittingstall has a delicious mushroom ragout thatbis fantastic with polenta. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/creamy-polenta-mushroom-ragout
Whisking while cooking really helps keep it smooth and creamy.
I've never made polenta, but have eaten it in restaurants. My favorite is in a grilled chicken Caesar salad. It must be fried or baked, as it appears in little chunks that are firm on the outside and creamy delicious inside.
lizbeth-gardener, thanks for posting that. I would never have thought of putting it in a salad. What a great idea.
I like it almost any way. The only important point is quality. Anson Mills consistently tests at or near the top of available brands. Falls Mill is pretty good, as is the always reliable Bob's Mill. But Anson Mills is the best we've ever tried.
The only time I don't like it is when chefs/cooks gunk it up with too much butterfat. One restaurant must have used massive amounts of mascarpone in the polenta, along with a huge amount of cultured butter in making their soft polenta.
I love both mascarpone and butter, but the polenta was so ridiculously rich, that using it as a side to a meat and tomato cream sauce, bordered on indigestible. It would have been so much better starring on its own.
One tasty but caloric way to serve leftover polenta: slice it 1/4" thick and pan-fry until crispy speckled brown. Takes a bit longer than you'd think, but it's VERY tasty as a side.
Thank you, jakkom.
Found this photo easily because I started to label pics finally last spring. (doh)
I had forgotten that we made 'shrimp-n-grits' oven the holidays. We make more than the nights meal and chill in baby bread pans. Cast iron pan sear for breakfast polenta in thick slices. Cubed for salads.
Traditionally southern grits are white and polenta is yellow. I was in my market with the full Bob's offerings and the organic polenta was front and center. (not on the shopping list but that happens).
We do like creamy but not over the top restaurant full fat. A bit of cheese and butter.
...and then there is scrapple we made a week later. Polenta spiced with pork mince and spices.
Oh my. What deliciousness. Thanks. I do have mini bread pans, but wouldn't have thought of putting the polenta in them. Great idea.
I make it ahead and chill in an oiled loaf pan then slice, brush with more olive oil, and bake until the edges get browned and crispy, then top that with tomato sauce and meatballs or sausage, or a sausage & pepper saute. I almost always add some fresh rosemary and black pepper. I also always set some aside to eat fresh and warm with butter and salt. It's the yellow kind and organic.
I like shrimp and grits, but hubby doesn't like shrimp, so I've never made it at home, only had the restaurant version. Sleevendog, you're inspiring me!
Another great idea, Carol. Thanks for sharing.