I often make Polenta when I buy corn meal and my corn meal of choice is Quaker.
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Polenta is a dish created by Northern Italians. It is a substitute for mashed potatoes or rice. Most anything you can pour over rice you can pour over Polenta. As a kid, I liked to pour a meat stew over my Polenta. It tasted great after playing outside in the snow on a cold day. As an adult, when I visited Italy, I ordered a dish of Polenta and Venison stew. It was hearty and delicious during the cold month of March! Polenta is also good with Chicken Cacciatore.
Polenta can be served several ways: like a pudding, like a porridge, or like a soft bread. Americans with a barbeque interest like Polenta formed, brushed with butter or oil, then grilled like a bread. You can buy Polenta in a packaged, cooked, rolled form and just slice it for the grill. I've actually never tried it this way and may attempt it on my mini grill.
My favorite way to eat Polenta is like a porridge; creamy, and steaming hot - almost like a risotto. Polenta has a mild flavor which is why it needs toppings.
To make Polenta like a pudding, just pour it from your pot into any dish and let it cool. Then you can slice it like a pie.
To make a porridge-like Polenta, cook it on the stove just before serving the main meal. Make sure everything else is ready first. It will keep warm with a cover on the pot, but it's best served hot.
Cleaning the pot can be a challenge. Some people recommend letting the remains of the Polenta dry and then peel it off the pan. Some people say run cold water in the pan. As I said above, Polenta is similar to risotto. If you've made risotto before you know the creamy leftovers in the pan are not easy to wash so be prepared to use a little elbow grease. I believe it was a commercial that once claimed: "I love to cook Italian, but I hate the pots!" Ditto.
QUAKER YELLOW CORN MEAL is not just for Polenta. I have made corn muffins and corn bread with it and mixed bread crumbs and QUAKER YELLOW CORN MEAL for breading fish and chicken for frying. Used this way and the corn meal is gritty, and/or crunchy not creamy. You can also serve cooked QUAKER YELLOW CORN MEAL as a hot creamy cereal (the container refers to it as "Corn Meal Mush") and add your favorite toppings: cream or milk, syrup or jelly, butter or margarine.
QUAKER YELLOW CORN MEAL comes in a sturdy cardboard canister with a fitted lid so you don't have to mess with a paper bag similar to 5 lb flour bags which tend to spill, get punctured, leak, and so on. I've been buying QUAKER YELLOW CORN MEAL for years and I've never been stuck with a bad batch.
Serving size: 3 tbsp.
Total fat: 0.5g
Total carbs: 21g
Vitamin A: 2%
Folic acid: 10%
Degerminated Yellow Corn Meal, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, One of the B Vitamins.
RECIPE FOR POLENTA
1 cup QUAKER YELLOW CORN MEAL
1 ½ cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Boil the water then lower the heat. Pour QUAKER YELLOW CORN MEAL in very slowly to avoid lumps. (or, you can add some of the unboiled water to the corn meal and stir). Stir quickly while cooking to avoid lumps. Stir about 10 minutes. Be careful! If your burner is too hot and the polenta boils/bubbles you can be burned when the bubbles pop! Lumps are a problem. Once you've got them, they're almost impossible to get rid of. On the other hand, you may like the lumps. Most people don't though.
QUAKER YELLOW CORN MEAL comes in a bright yellow and blue container but it is a "green" company. Green because their tamper band on the lid is made from, what else, corn!
Call for recipes, questions or comments: 1-800-694-7487. It's interesting to note that there is no website listed on the container.
Thanks to John (Bruguru) for adding this to the database.
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