Sunday, September 26, 2010

how to awesome-ize your polenta

Since I made a ton of polenta on Friday, I decided to amp the flavor up a bit on Saturday by broiling a slab of it. Before I stuck the slab under the broiler, however, I painted it with a mixture of butter, olive oil, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. I was worried that the butter would burn too easily under the broiler, but it ended up taking a total of about 90 seconds to achieve desired brownness.

I should note that the polenta package warned me that polenta, once mixed with boiling water, tends to bubble violently, and sure enough, that's just what it did. It was a bit like stirring yellow lava, and my shirt bore speckles and spatters afterward. You can, by the way, safely ignore instructions to line a cake pan with oil and wax paper before pouring the still-liquid polenta into it; simply greasing the pan (or, in my case, a large cookie sheet) with shortening is sufficient. The polenta proved easy to cut into any shape once it was out of the oven (you're supposed to bake it for around 15 minutes), and lifted off from the cookie sheet without a problem. When I broiled the polenta on the second day, I painted it with the butter mixture while it was still cold, then microwaved the broiled polenta to heat it through. Turned out perfectly.


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