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Help Hounds! Do-ahead creamy polenta recipe?

imsohungry Feb 11, 2009 09:50 AM

I'm having a dinner party, at which I would like to have most everything done ahead of time, and would like to serve creamy polenta. In the past, my polenta seems to "set up" rather quickly, in spite of adding copious amounts of cream/milk/butter, etc.

Short of a few recipes that require CREAM CHEESE (!?!?), I haven't been able to uncover a recipe that allows for at least an hour standing time, while remaining creamy. I'm not opposed to using cornmeal (vs. more quicker cooking polenta). Any suggestions? My pork osso buco and guests will thank you!

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  1. c
    cheesecake17 Feb 11, 2009 12:25 PM

    You can make it quickly in the microwave..

    2 Replies
    1. re: cheesecake17
      imsohungry Feb 11, 2009 01:31 PM

      Can you please suggest a recipe? Much appreciated!

      1. re: imsohungry
        cheesecake17 Feb 11, 2009 01:47 PM

        1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cornmeal to 2 cups of water and microwave for 6 min, then stir and microwave for another 4 minutes. I microwaved for 5 min, stirred and added more water, then microwaved again for another 3 minutes.

        I would try it before you serve it to guests, just to make sure you like it. Also, your micro might have different cooking times, so check it sooner than the recipe says.

    2. Glencora Feb 11, 2009 01:40 PM

      I've added liquid to polenta that's become too firm and I don't recall it getting lumpy. Just stir it vigorously.

      1. c
        cheese girl Feb 11, 2009 01:47 PM

        Use your favorite recipe and keep it on a barely simmering bain marie or, try the Paula Wolfert method:


        Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: cheese girl
          imsohungry Feb 11, 2009 01:50 PM

          Thanks all!

        2. alwayscooking Feb 11, 2009 02:09 PM

          You could make it in the oven instead of the stove. I would require much less attention.

          1. sixelagogo Feb 12, 2009 02:12 AM

            my suggestion:
            Make your polenta just as you want it. when it gets to the creaminess you'd like, take it off the heat and place a piece of wax paper (or yer butter wrapper) on top and let it sit off heat. It'll stay warm for a LONG time (this stuff is like napalm)...when it's time serve, turn it back on the heat, hit it with a little hot milk/water, and stir...
            i would suggest adding the butter/cheese when yer just about to serve as well, but I don't think it really makes a difference.

            1. paulj Feb 12, 2009 07:16 AM

              What liquid to cornmeal ratio do you use?

              I find that when I use a long cook double boiler method, I add water periodically when it gets too stiff, and end up with a 5:1 ratio. The cornmeal keeps absorbing water.

              1 Reply
              1. re: paulj
                sixelagogo Feb 13, 2009 03:00 AM

                i start with 1:4, though always add more water/milk/cream at the end so it lands up being 1:5

              2. s
                Stuffed Monkey Feb 13, 2009 04:56 AM

                If you do it ahead, it will stiff, but can be resoftened with a more liquid while stirring to reheat, though very untradional. Just follow the instructions on that log of premade polenta.

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