Polenta traces its roots back to Northern Italy. This simple, humble cornmeal dish is considered “peasant food” but it has managed to find its way into almost every culture in the world. Made of cornmeal, liquid and flavouring Polenta is a versatile dish that is limited only by your imagination. Polenta can be found on the menus of some of the world’s finest menu. As Polenta has traveresed the world it’s name has been changed many times.
Jamaicans call it Turned cornmeal, in Barbados it’s called Cou-Cou, Namibians call it Pap. In the Virgin Islands they call it Fungi and it goes by Funge in Spanish culture. Call it what you want, Polenta may not be exclusive to the Caribbean but, it is a favorite in many Caribbean homes. Polenta is a versatile dish that is easy and inexpensive to make. You can add or take away flavours to suit your palate. I love to add some thyme leaves, garlic or chopped belled peppers for flavor and color.
Serve these Polenta Fries them with a burger and who knows, you just might convince a 5 year old.
1 ½ cup fine cornmeal
4 ½ cups water
1 tsp salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Bring water, salt and olive oil to a boil in large saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Slowly stir in cornmeal using a whisk. Mix until it thicken anbegins to bubble. *substitute ½ milk for the water to make a creamier polenta.
Pour hot mixture into a 3 qt glass baking dish or other non-stick heat proof container. Let it set in refrigerator for at least 3 hours before cutting. Polenta can also be served hot fresh from the stove.
Polenta can be served as is, grilled or sautéed in olive oil. Do not refrigerate longer than 2 days.
*Jazz up this dish by adding any one or all of the following:
1 tsp thyme
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheese, stir in after cooking