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What Is Polenta & What Do I Do With It?
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Ok. So I"m grocery shopping (a chore I kind of despise since being diagnosed with celiac disease) and I see this yellow tube. A closer inspection reveals it to be something called polenta.

Obviously I"m completely clueless about polenta. Never seen it before in my life (oh what a sheltered life I must lead).

Now that I have it, does anyone have any idea what I should do with it?? lol. Something SIMPLE (without tomatoes, which I am allergic to).

Maybe you just fry it up or something? I"m pretty excited to find an entirely new food.

Also, I saw some Shirataki Noodles at my grocery store -- they are also gluten free. WOAH. It was a big day - two new foods. ;-)

K-Dawg

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My favorite way to eat polenta is to cut it into thin slices and fry it in olive oil. I had some for breakfast this morning :)

I've heard of people putting tomato sauce (wouldn't work for you, but maybe some other sort of sauce) and some cheese on top and then either broiling it or baking it. I think I tried that once... but I just prefer it by itself.

New foods are fun. I found sugar plums today at Whole Foods... never had them, so of course, I had to buy them. :lol:

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you can cut it up into fry shapes and dip it in oil and put it in the oven and make polenta fries.

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All these ideas sound so good--what is a good brand of Polenta to look for? I've never had it.

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I eat fried polenta with maple syrup and sausage a couple times a week. If you make your own, you can be more flexible, and its easy to make. I make a pepper gravy and add cheddar cheese to soft polenta- really good. You can slice it and use it for a crust for a savory pie, fry in olive oil and top with alfredo sauce, a million things. Anything that goes good with cornbread will work. You can bake or fry it to make croutons to float in chili or chilled as croutons on a ham chef salad. But the fried in butter with maple syrup is still my favorite. Btw, before polenta became popular that was called fried mush!

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Help me here. I thought polenta was sort between corn meal and corn grits. I'm either wrong about that or I don't undertands the suggestion to cut it into strips and fry.

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I eat fried polenta with maple syrup and sausage a couple times a week. If you make your own, you can be more flexible, and its easy to make. I make a pepper gravy and add cheddar cheese to soft polenta- really good. You can slice it and use it for a crust for a savory pie, fry in olive oil and top with alfredo sauce, a million things. Anything that goes good with cornbread will work. You can bake or fry it to make croutons to float in chili or chilled as croutons on a ham chef salad. But the fried in butter with maple syrup is still my favorite. Btw, before polenta became popular that was called fried mush!

Finding new foods is funny sometimes- it's like What is THIS and What the HECK do I do with it? That's how I felt about quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) and now I LOVE quinoa pasta (but still don't know what the heck to do with real quinoa).

Ranger's ideas sound yummy! I make a polenta lasagna (you could try it with a different sauce). Frying it in olive oil makes it versatile because it tastes like a corncake.

If you find the dry kind (not in a tube but in a box) you can use it as a pie crust for stuff like chicken pot pie.

It actually is yummy stuff- polenta fries YUMMMMM...............

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Help me here. I thought polenta was sort between corn meal and corn grits. I'm either wrong about that or I don't undertands the suggestion to cut it into strips and fry.

I think it's the same as grits. Just has an Italian name.

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mmmm. Polenta french fries! I will try this for sure.

Ranger, you're ideas sound very good (THX) and I love the breakfast one (with mapel syrup and sausage). Are you slicing it up into strips or using some other form of polenta (not found in a tube)?

Also, what is soft polenta? lol. I"m such a polenta newbie.

I eat fried polenta with maple syrup and sausage a couple times a week. If you make your own, you can be more flexible, and its easy to make. I make a pepper gravy and add cheddar cheese to soft polenta- really good. You can slice it and use it for a crust for a savory pie, fry in olive oil and top with alfredo sauce, a million things. Anything that goes good with cornbread will work. You can bake or fry it to make croutons to float in chili or chilled as croutons on a ham chef salad. But the fried in butter with maple syrup is still my favorite. Btw, before polenta became popular that was called fried mush!
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mmmm. Polenta french fries! I will try this for sure.

Ranger, you're ideas sound very good (THX) and I love the breakfast one (with mapel syrup and sausage). Are you slicing it up into strips or using some other form of polenta (not found in a tube)?

Also, what is soft polenta? lol. I"m such a polenta newbie.

Polenta is just the type of cornmeal used...it differs from grits. It is all ground corn though, just ground to varying degrees. It is most always made from yellow cornmeal, as opposed to white corn.

There are the tubes of polenta sold in grocery stores which is precooked and more compressed. You can cut it up and serve it many ways, as mentioned above.

You can also make your own, which is very similar in preparation to making oatmeal only you stir it much longer. There is a trick to making polenta on the stove so you won't end up with lumpy corn mush. Add the polenta s-l-o-w-l-y to the boiling water and stir constantly until done...about 20-30 minutes, depending on your stove. It used to be the grandmother's job to stand over the stove and make good polenta as it's time consuming but oh-so-worth-it! There may be quicker cooking polenta available.

Once it is cooked, it will have the consistency of oatmeal, hence the term "soft" polenta. You can also pour it into a baking pan and cook it further in the oven.

I love it cooked, off the stove, and covered with spaghetti sauce and ground parmesan. It's delicious and filling.

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Help me here. I thought polenta was sort between corn meal and corn grits. I'm either wrong about that or I don't undertands the suggestion to cut it into strips and fry.

It is, but sometimes you can find "premade" polenta, that's already been mixed with water and spices and par-cooked, in a plastic tube. Something a little quicker than from-scratch polenta.

HAH! TUBE FOOD! :lol: :lol:

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Polenta is cornmeal. I use the tube stuff for frying (ease), but make my own for sides. basically, you boil cornmeal with liquid. If it's a side, use it warm. If you put it in a loaf pan and refridgerate, it becomes solid and you can cut it into shapes for baking or frying. here's a recipe for cheddar polenta:

1 cup milk

2/3 cup polenta (cornmeal)

2 Tbps butter

1 tsp hot sauce

1 cup grated cheddar

Bring milk to boil. Whisk in polenta. Turn heat to med. Stir well till thick. Add rest of ingrediants.

Makes 2 generous servings.

You can use water, stock, or any liquid you care to. Mix with cooked sausage while warm, put in loaf pan overnight, and you have a version of srapple you can fry for breakfast.Happy eating!

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Polenta is cornmeal. I use the tube stuff for frying (ease), but make my own for sides. basically, you boil cornmeal with liquid. If it's a side, use it warm. If you put it in a loaf pan and refridgerate, it becomes solid and you can cut it into shapes for baking or frying. here's a recipe for cheddar polenta:

1 cup milk

2/3 cup polenta (cornmeal)

2 Tbps butter

1 tsp hot sauce

1 cup grated cheddar

Bring milk to boil. Whisk in polenta. Turn heat to med. Stir well till thick. Add rest of ingrediants.

Makes 2 generous servings.

You can use water, stock, or any liquid you care to. Mix with cooked sausage while warm, put in loaf pan overnight, and you have a version of srapple you can fry for breakfast.Happy eating!

That sounds really good. Is it like cooking risotto... you have to stir constantly? Just want to know if I ever decide to make it what I could be getting myself into. :lol:

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Thanks Ranger -- that sounds so good.

Polenta is cornmeal. I use the tube stuff for frying (ease), but make my own for sides. basically, you boil cornmeal with liquid. If it's a side, use it warm. If you put it in a loaf pan and refridgerate, it becomes solid and you can cut it into shapes for baking or frying. here's a recipe for cheddar polenta:

1 cup milk

2/3 cup polenta (cornmeal)

2 Tbps butter

1 tsp hot sauce

1 cup grated cheddar

Bring milk to boil. Whisk in polenta. Turn heat to med. Stir well till thick. Add rest of ingrediants.

Makes 2 generous servings.

You can use water, stock, or any liquid you care to. Mix with cooked sausage while warm, put in loaf pan overnight, and you have a version of srapple you can fry for breakfast.Happy eating!

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I love polenta.

I grill mine. (so good, but you could also just fry in olive oil) then I make a wild mushroom herbed ragu to pour over it. :D

Or you could also do a polenta napoleon. Use polenta as the base and layer it with vegetables (mushroom, zucchini, onions, whatever you like) cheese (if you can tolerate it) and then a little drizzle of pesto!

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That sounds really good. Is it like cooking risotto... you have to stir constantly? Just want to know if I ever decide to make it what I could be getting myself into. :lol:

You'll want to stir it frequently as it's very similar to making risotto. The stirring will bring out the starchiness of the grain and make it creamy. It really is very, very good and a damn good substitute for wheat! ;)

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There is a trick to making polenta on the stove so you won't end up with lumpy corn mush. Add the polenta s-l-o-w-l-y to the boiling water and stir constantly until done...about 20-30 minutes, depending on your stove.

In pre-diagnosis days, I'd solve the lumping problem with cream of wheat by sifting it into the boiling water. That took a little coordination but avoided the unexpected "avalanche" that caused lumps. Stirring the dry portion in with a whisk was another solution to the lump problem.

Thanks for the explanation of polenta-in-a-tube. Knowing it will vary with the store, is that usually a dairy case or frozen foods case?

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Hey, that napoleon polenta sounds great! I"m not much of a cook...can you explain it a bit more in detail. lol. I don't even know if you are using tubed polenta or corn meal. lol. I"m a bit hopeless in the kitchen.

THX

I

Or you could also do a polenta napoleon. Use polenta as the base and layer it with vegetables (mushroom, zucchini, onions, whatever you like) cheese (if you can tolerate it) and then a little drizzle of pesto!

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I found tubed polenta in an aisle with other 'health foods'

In pre-diagnosis days, I'd solve the lumping problem with cream of wheat by sifting it into the boiling water. That took a little coordination but avoided the unexpected "avalanche" that caused lumps. Stirring the dry portion in with a whisk was another solution to the lump problem.

Thanks for the explanation of polenta-in-a-tube. Knowing it will vary with the store, is that usually a dairy case or frozen foods case?

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Thanks for the explanation of polenta-in-a-tube. Knowing it will vary with the store, is that usually a dairy case or frozen foods case?

I've seen it in the refrigerated part of the produce area, while at Whole Foods it's on the shelf with the rice, and yet another store on the bottom shelf in the pasta area. :huh:

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I use the tube kind and cut it into little circles and either bake them on a sheet pan, fry them in olive oil, or grill them on the grill pan. Then I slice some mushrooms up and put them in a skillet with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme or rosemary, and when they are looking juicy and close to done, I deglaze the pan by splashing some wine on it and letting the alcohol burn off and the juices reduce. I then put the mushroom herb mixture with the reduced wine over top the polenta circles and put some shaved parmesan on the top. We eat this all the time with lamb or chicken.

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found a recipe while surfing through gluten free cooking blogs and remembered seeing this post so i thought i'd share. the picture looks yummy! just scroll down the page til you see the polenta triangle recipe

http://rpc.blogrolling.com/redirect.php?r=...blogspot.com%2F

its from the gluten free bay blog, which seems to have a lot of good recipes but i have only tried a couple

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Finding new foods is funny sometimes- it's like What is THIS and What the HECK do I do with it? That's how I felt about quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) and now I LOVE quinoa pasta (but still don't know what the heck to do with real quinoa).

Ranger's ideas sound yummy! I make a polenta lasagna (you could try it with a different sauce). Frying it in olive oil makes it versatile because it tastes like a corncake.

If you find the dry kind (not in a tube but in a box) you can use it as a pie crust for stuff like chicken pot pie.

It actually is yummy stuff- polenta fries YUMMMMM...............

here is an older post on quinoa for you.

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.ph...c=54781&hl=

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