Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Polenta, finally!

About a year ago, E and I met up with some friends in Houston. We all got dressed up and made a nice Italian dinner, spaghetti with mushroom tomato sauce, salad, and polenta. Except the polenta gave us trouble. Or maybe we gave it trouble. One way or another, E and I found ourselves eating bits of gloppy polenta from the pan at 11PM in our pajamas. We were not impressed. Food that takes over five hours to prepare should taste better than that.

I braved the stone-ground cornmeal a few weeks ago and gave polenta another try. Wow was it good. I think E and I used too much liquid. And we stirred too much. Polenta is one of those foods that people are always warning you to stir often (and only clockwise!) The recipe I followed (from the Bittman of course) said to whisk the cornmeal into the water in small batches. And then don't worry about stirring much until it starts to thicken. Not only was this easier (I did some dishes while I waited), but it tasted great. I can't really attest to how well it thickened because I ate most of it hot from the stove. It reminded me of the taste of toast and eggs. I have no idea...

P.S. E has photos of the two of us making sushi including a shot of the world's largest avocado. Bug her to post them!