Polenta - A Classic Recipe With A Photo Step By Step

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Polenta - A Classic Recipe With A Photo Step By Step
Polenta - A Classic Recipe With A Photo Step By Step

Video: Polenta - A Classic Recipe With A Photo Step By Step

Video: Polenta - A Classic Recipe With A Photo Step By Step
Video: Perfect Polenta - How to Make Soft Polenta 2023, May

Classic polenta is a dish that, in fact, is almost impossible to prepare in modern conditions. But we will try very hard …


Corn groats - 105 g

Corn flour - 90 g

Water - 1800 ml

Salt - 1 tablespoon

  • 32 kcal
  • 40 minutes
  • 40 minutes

Photo of the finished dish

Step by step recipe with photo

Looking for a classic polenta recipe? Well, I think to myself: if you come here, it means that you are interested, and it is in the classics, and not in what is written on the package. So, my dears, I have to disappoint you. Right from the start. Take a look at this photo. Do you have such a boiler? Not? If not, then you will not be able to make the classic polenta, no matter what recipe you use to cook it. Because the classic polenta is made in a thick-walled copper cauldron over a wood fire. Basta! (By the way, "basta" is Italian.)

On a wood fire - this does not mean "on the fire". In Italy, up to the end of the twentieth century, wood-burning stoves were very actively used in villages. And not only in Italy, by the way. If, say, you have a wood stove in your country house, then you also have a chance to cook classic polenta. The only catch is the thick-walled copper boiler. Both wall thickness and material are very important. Copper is the most thermally conductive material used in cookware. It heats up very quickly and cools down just as quickly when you remove the dishes from the heat. Well, the thickness of the boiler allows it to be used even in extreme heat, at those temperatures at which modern thin copper ware with alloying simply deforms and changes color. In short, a pure copper old thick-walled boiler - THIS IS THE THING !!! But they are no longer produced. Ours is hereditary. But I don't have a wood stove, so even I can't show you the recipe for classic polenta if I have the right boiler. I haven't scared you off yet, will you continue reading?

Polenta is an old recipe, but not that from hoary antiquity. Corn came to Europe after the discovery of America, and in warmer countries it seriously pressed other, more whimsical and less productive cereals. In Italy, respectively, polenta replaced the pulse: a porridge made from ground spelled, millet, barley and spelled, known since the days of Ancient Rome. In short, the groats have changed, but the recipe has remained. So the technology for making polenta is a hell of a lot of years old, and in our refined conditions of the 21st century it is very difficult to make it in a classic form.

I have also tried classic polenta - exactly once in my life, my father-in-law was cooking when my parents came to get acquainted. The father-in-law's name was Giuseppe Manyago, he was from South Tyrol, whose inhabitants from the plains are called "polenta eaters". In short, I know the recipe, I can tell it, but I cannot prepare it, because it is simply impossible to install a domed copper boiler on a ceramic electric stove! I cook polenta in a flat-bottomed cast-iron cauldron, adapted for electric stoves. Will it suit you?

The main secret of the classic polenta, which distinguishes it from the product that has replaced it now, is the use of two types of cereals, with different grind sizes. In Italy, you should take the coarse and medium grind, but, apart from the local mills, I have not seen this anywhere else, so in Germany I make from corn grits and corn flour. Using two calibers gives a very different consistency to the dish than with homogeneous flour. But cooking requires a bit more complex calculations than from one type of flour.

Ingredients for polenta are considered not in grams and milliliters, but in volumes. I converted it to grams for this recipe, but this is not a traditional approach. It is necessary to explain how this was done normally. You can't imagine an Italian guy at the wood stove, measuring flour and water with a scale and a measuring cup?

The ratio of cereals for classic polenta our Giuseppe used the following: for 1 measure of coarse grinding - 2 measures of fine grinding. And water - 4 times more than corn in the aggregate. That is, 12 cups of water, 2 cups of fine cornmeal, and 1 cup of coarse cornmeal. A cup, a bowl, a mug - it doesn't matter anymore, do you understand? Historically, there was a large cauldron, and there was some kind of small container with which water and cereals were measured.

The water is brought to a boil and salted.

First, a bowl of large-caliber cereals is poured into boiling salted water. Brew for about 5 minutes.

After that, pour in 2 cups of corn flour in a thin stream with very thorough stirring. When they get into the water, polenta begins to spit wildly, you can seriously burn yourself. Much worse than just boiling water, because it is a sticky substance. Therefore, for about a minute or two, it makes sense to close the polenta pot with a lid.

When you hear that the spitting has stopped, the lid can be removed. Then there are two cooking strategies: over low heat, almost without stirring (a homogeneous polenta is obtained) and over high heat with stirring (it turns out to be dense, with a coarser and more heterogeneous structure). The first is easier to prepare and prettier, the second is more laborious, but, according to our family, tastes better.

Today is the birthday of the senior representative of our branch of the Manyago family, and the festive dinner was held with us, so I was preparing their favorite version: laborious and scary in appearance. In short, what you see with me is not a cooking defect, but a special honor for the birthday man. Nobody forbids you to leave the lid closed, reduce the heat to low and simmer the polenta for about half an hour.

I have to stir the polenta from edge to center and in a circle over high heat for 20 minutes. Those. it turns out that I, in fact, beat it. Parallel stripes on the walls are scapula marks. From top to bottom and to the center, the next movement is a little to the right, and so on, all the time in a circle. The intense fire allows layers of denser "skin" to form, which I constantly mix into the liquid inner layers. Stirring stops when the polenta is actually moved away from the boiler wall in this way. It should form into a single dense lump. The fact that it is heterogeneous is considered a special chic in our country. I will cook a uniform liquid polenta in a saucepan.

After thickening, the surface of the polenta is compacted so that it becomes more or less even, and the polenta is kept on medium heat for another 5 minutes.

After removing the polenta from the stove, let it cool for 5-10 minutes. It makes sense to pierce its edges with a spatula to the very bottom, so that they can easily be separated from the walls. Next, a round served board is pressed to the polenta. Not a plate at all! If you want a classic, then you need a completely flat wooden surface, such plates simply do not exist. I'll show you why a little further.

The polenta cauldron is turned over, the polenta is planted on a wooden board. I can clearly see here that a crust has separated from the bottom of the boiler. So, it will have to be ripped off and thrown out, because the boiler is cast iron and there is a black fry on the crust, and the crust itself is very tough and slightly bitter. But you can even eat a crust from a copper boiler, it is different. But it is not served with the polenta that is on the board; it is ripped off and consumed for breakfast with milk. Well, at least our Giuseppe did that.

Should it be roughened? Classic polenta - yes, it should be. This gives it a special scent - along with the smell of smoke from the wood stove.

Now watch carefully. This is a serving of a classic polenta, right now - kondo - there is no kondo: on a wooden board and with a string. The rope should either be tied to two sticks, or there are loops at the ends where you can stick your fingers. A flat, wide spoon is also desirable - transfer the polenta layers to the eaters' plates.

The fact is that the classic polenta is cut not with a knife, but with a thread, and it is cut from the bottom up, not from top to bottom. The thread is brought under the polenta from the bottom to the thickness of the piece, pulled and pulled up at both ends. That is why exactly a board is needed, not a plate: the plates always have sides that interfere with the classical cutting method.

In general, excuse me for such a recipe with the volume of "War and Peace", but the classic polenta with all the bells and whistles is a dish that requires a lot of explanation. Because of the bells and whistles and due to the fact that all the utensils for its preparation in modern kitchens are simply not used. For example, I do this polenta only for family holidays. This is a little show. But these are also traditions. Our son is just as interested in cutting polenta with a string, as it was interesting to do in childhood for his father and uncles.

Maybe you can still cook polenta according to the recipe that you have on the package? It's probably easier.

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