Last Friday, we made polenta in class as part of the section on grains. I’ve never made polenta before, and only eaten it once or twice. The chef gave us freedom to flavor it any way we wanted, so I chose basil and mozzarella, and made a little mozzarella, basil, tomato salad for garnish.
First, you sweat onions in oil, then add milk and bring to a simmer. Once the milk is simmering, “rain in the grain”: this means you sprinkle in the polenta while whisking. Once all the polenta is in the milk, it should thicken up pretty quickly on higher heat, and by whisking. Eventually, you have to use a spatula because it gets too thick for the whisk.
Another important thing to remember is to cook the polenta long enough to remove the starchy, cereal flavor. Chef Emma said it will also burn a little bit on the bottom because of the protein, so that can’t be prevented.
While the polenta was cooking, I made tomato-basil-mozzarella salad (insalata caprese) on the side. To finish the polenta, add butter and cheese.
The final product tasted pretty good. Chef Mark said my polenta needed a bit of salt.
One of my classmates made a curry-style polenta that was sooooooo good. Wish I knew how to use spices like that!
Luckily, we got to take our polenta home. So today, it’s polenta-day at my house.
Next week: more on grains and cooking proteins.