1 cup organic Floriani Red corn, coarsely ground for polenta
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil (optional)
½ cup grated Parmesan or other hard cheese (optional)
Bring the water and salt to a boil and slowly sprinkle in the polenta while whisking or stirring to avoid clumping. The mixture will thicken slowly. Turn the heat to simmer and stir at least every 5 minutes to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pot. If you’re only cooking it for one hour, you do not need to cover the pot. If it is getting too thick or sticking heavily, add more water, a ¼ cup at a time, and stir.
If you are serving immediately, add butter or olive oil and grated cheese, stirring to fully incorporate. At this point you can also add sautéed mushrooms and/or onions, or other spices. Some people prefer to add nothing at all.
If you are saving it for later, oil or rub butter into a mold, bread pan or shallow glass pie dish. Put the corn into the pan, using a spatula to make it level. Place the dish in the refrigerator until the corn is cool and hardened. When it is fully hardened (shake to test it!), place a flat dish on top of the pan, and turn it over to remove it.
You can then slice ½” strips or 1” cubes to be eaten warmed for breakfast with sausage, or warm or cold with maple syrup or honey. Alternatively, you can sauté it to the desired crispiness with butter and olive oil and your choice of fresh spices (thyme, rosemary, sage, etc.) and maybe topped with grated cheese. You can also sauté it simply with salt and pepper, or top with various tomato sauces with or without baked or grilled vegetables. The polenta can also be grilled or baked rather than sautéed.
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