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Using polenta for cornbread

Justpaula Jan 6, 2007 01:28 PM

I havea recipe for Cornbread with Pancetta that I just decided I want to make with our ribs tonight. However, I am having a very lazy day with no desire to leave my apartment to go to a grocery store for stone-ground or regular yellow cornmeal, as the recipe calls for. There is an italian butcher/specialty store across the street which I can pull myself together enough to schlep to - of course, that is where I will get the pancetta too. Question: I know they sell boxes of polenta....but isn't that essentially cornmeal? Can I use it for my cornbread?

  1. m
    morebubbles Jan 7, 2007 02:42 PM

    Would you share your conbread with pancetta recipe, please?:)

    3 Replies
    1. re: morebubbles
      Justpaula Jan 7, 2007 03:09 PM

      Sure! But it's not mine...it is from epicurious. As mentioned, if you use instant polenta that's fine,and probably not a good idea to cut the sugar unless you desire a not-sweet cornbread (which, to reiterate was still good!) :)

      I liked this recipe because while I love to cook, I am not a super baker and this was easy. That and I will eat anything with pancetta in it.


      1. re: Justpaula
        morebubbles Jan 7, 2007 09:17 PM

        Thank you. I don't have a tried-and-try cornbread recipe yet (and also I have finely ground cornmeal that I think was meant for making polenta). Point taken about cutting down sugar (which is something I tend to do as well, sometimes too much..), thanks!

        1. re: morebubbles
          Justpaula Jan 7, 2007 09:37 PM

          You're welcome! I did just get invited for din at his parents house (he and his Dad and bro have been watching football all day and surely drinking, so he prob needs a ride home), where his Mom has made ribs. I said I would bring the rest of the cornbread, but not sure if his family would like it not sweet. So, he suggested making a simple syrup and brushing it on top. Ijust did that...and will let you know how it turned out.

          P.S. - you have to love a man who after a day of beer and ball will say, "Hey, babe, perhaps a simple syrup is a good idea". :)

    2. a
      atomic Jan 7, 2007 12:44 AM

      Yes, polenta is cornmeal. I did this last week because I had some polenta around, and it was rather coarse and thus my cornbread was kinda crunchy. But it was really tasty! I used sour cream and it was plenty moist.

      1 Reply
      1. re: atomic
        Justpaula Jan 7, 2007 02:39 PM

        I used the polenta, actually...when I picked up the box, it was labled as "Instant" polenta, which caused me some concern, but I went with it anyway. And it came out perfect, in terms of texture. However, for some reason I decided to cut the sugar in half because I didn't think I wanted it too sweet...but it ended up that it wasn't sweet enough. Still good though!

      2. e
        ESNY Jan 6, 2007 07:22 PM

        Polenta is cornmeal. As long as it is the proper grind for your recipe, they are substitutes.

        1. Adrienne Jan 6, 2007 03:43 PM

          I think polenta has a different grain than if you were to use regular cornmeal... this epicurious recipe uses polenta -- maybe you could use this as a guide for liquid amounts etc?


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