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Cooking with Julia Childs

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Italian Polenta

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Italian Polenta is made from cornmeal and is cooked like a porridge. Polenta is an Italian word, derived from the Latin for hulled and crushed grain, especially barley-meal. Corn was not cultivated in Europe until the early 16th century. It comes from the same base as “pollen”.

simple recipe for polenta

Ingredients
4 cups water (half milk – half water)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt
1½ cups coarse yellow, organic cornmeal

Cooking Instructions
– The best is to use  a heavy pot; mix all ingredients except the corn meal and bring to medium heat.
– Now add the corn meal slowly while stirring with a wooden spoon.
– Reduce heat to low and let Polenta simmer while stirring continuously until it is thick and smooth. That can be 30 minutes. It is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pan.
– After having discarded the bay leave pour Polenta onto a wooden board or into a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve the Polenta with a wooden spoon that was dipped into hot water, so you can spoon off nicely portions.
For the Polenta Bites form it to a roll after it has cooled off a bit or you can use a pound cake baking form (you will get rectangle pieces then when you cut it).

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