Basic Polenta


Ingredients:
9 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Cups Cornmeal; coarse−grain

How To:
Bring water to a boil in a large heavy pot. Add salt and reduce heat until water is simmering. Take cornmeal by the handful and add to water very slowly, controlling the flow to a thin stream through your fingers. To avoid lumps, stir quickly with a long handled wooden spoon while adding cornmeal.
If necessary, stop adding cornmeal from time to time and beat mixture vigorously. Cook, stirring constantly, 20 to 30 minutes. Polenta will become very thick while cooking. It is done when it comes away cleanly from the sides of the pot. Pour polenta into a large wooden board or a large platter. Wet your hands and smooth out polenta evenly, about 2 inches thick. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes or until polenta solidifies. Cut cooled polenta into slices 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. Place slices in individual dishes. Serve hot, covered with your favorite sauce. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Variation: Fried Polenta (Polenta Fritta): Prepare polenta and let cool completely. Cut cooled polenta into slices 2 inches wide and 6 inches long. Pour oil about 1 inch deep in a large skillet. Heat oil until a 1−inch cube of bread turns golden almost immediately. Fry polenta slices on both sides until light golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot. It is importent to insure the oil is hot enough, otherwise the polenta will absorb oil and your polenta will be greasy and unpalatable.

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