A bowl of polenta is comfort food at its simplest and finest. Keep in mind that if you start with high-quality, stone-ground cornmeal, you will end up with better-tasting polenta. And be sure to give it the time it needs to cook to properly develop that appealing sweet corn flavor.
Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 45 minutes Makes: 6 servings
6 cups water, plus more as needed 2 teaspoons fine salt, plus more as needed
1 cup finely ground polenta (cornmeal)
1 ⁄2 cup medium-ground polenta
3 tablespoons butter, melted and still hot
Measure the water and 2 teaspoons salt into a medium heavy-bottomed, high-sided saucepan or Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the polenta in a slow stream, stirring all the while to prevent lumps from forming. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
Cook, stirring often to prevent the polenta from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the grains are fully cooked, about 45 minutes. The polenta should be thick and creamy but still pourable. If you find it is too thick toward the end of cooking, stir in a little more water. When the polenta is done, taste and season with more salt if needed. Remove the pot from the heat; stir in the butter.
Nutrition information per serving: 231 calories, 6 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 40 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 4 g protein, 785 mg sodium, 3 g fiber