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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Simple homemade polenta

Polenta is associated with the regional cuisine of many European countries such as Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

15-minute polenta from the supermarket

Serve up the yellow cornmeal as a savoury or sweet dish. In times gone by, preparation was a long and tedious process. According to the traditional method, the cornmeal always had to be stirred in just one direction for up to an hour. These days, polenta is normally available pre-cooked from the supermarket and can be ready in 15 to 20 minutes, which is much more practical. Instant products are even quicker but cannot match up to freshly stirred cornmeal in terms of flavour.

Preparation is key

For a simple recipe, bring salted water or stock to the boil and sprinkle the cornmeal into it slowly, stirring constantly. Continue stirring over a low heat so that the golden yellow mixture does not burn and no lumps can form. The polenta is ready when it has a creamy consistency and drops away from the sides of the pan when stirred. Add some hard cheese such as Parmesan, finely chopped parsley, butter, salt and pepper for a final touch Because it has a subtle flavour, polenta is a delicious side dish for almost anything. It can also be served as a convincing main dish with a spicy tomato or mushroom sauce. The prepared cornmeal can be kept for two to three days in the refrigerator.

Crispy, as a pizza or even dessert

If you prefer your polenta crispy, spread the cooked mixture onto a wooden board and allow it to cool. Then you can cut it into diamond shapes with a sharp knife and fry it for two to three minutes on each side until golden brown. One interesting variation is polenta pizza: spread it into rounds on a baking tray, add your chosen toppings and bake. For a gratin, the cornmeal can be covered with vegetables and cheese and baked in a greased dish in the oven.

Polenta can even be enjoyed as a dessert when mixed with milk, a pinch of salt and a little sugar. After it has cooled you can use it to make pancakes topped with fresh nuts and berries. Stewed fruit and ice cream also taste wonderful with sweet polenta.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.bzfe.de