How to cook Polenta

OK, the actual "making of" I won't get into, except to say "Follow the instructions"
This is more about What One Does With The Base Polenta
In general, any polenta dish roughly breaks down to the following
  1. Make Polenta
  2. Top with Something
  3. Profit. 
Taking these one at a time, to Make Polenta, well, follow the instructions as I mentioned before, after which its all about the presentaion.  Basically, you can
  • Put the polenta in a bowl, or
  • Arrange - artistically - on a plate. In a heap, a mountain, a circle, a square, whatever.  Or,
  • Place on a piece of tin-foil, preferably in a circle/square/whatever, and blast under the broiler for around 10-15 minutes till the top is slightly crispy. You'll need to oil the tin-foil (and drizzle some on top of the polenta too for extra yummy credit!) otherwise it'll never come off
Above all, have no shame - remember, its your cooking, and you can do any damn thing you want to!

Top with Something, the key is to remember that polenta is - and there is no easy way to say this- basically bland and mushy.  Given this, whatever you end up topping it with needs to have some sort of contrasting flavors and textures.  Of course, if you really want to go for the trifecta, contrasting temperatures will do the trick!

For flavors, you can go in many directions.
  • Bitter - (cooked!) kale / spinach / mustard-greens
  • Sweet - roasted carrots / parsnips / beets / leeks
  • Savory - Any meaty stew (lamb! beef! chicken!) 
Textures are really easy to come by, since all it really takes is to sprinkle some chopped walnuts, diced-apricots, currants, pomegrante-seeds, or equivalent on top of the kale/carrots/whatever.

Finally, temperature (and color contrast) are, easily accomplished by topping the whole thing with some chilled riccotta, mascarpone, mozzarella, or burrata (burrata! Mmmmmmm)

Voila - happy happy polenta!
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