Polenta Creamy Good and Almost No Stir

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“I was one of few that tested this for Cook's Illustrated. I was very impressed with this method which uses a secret ingredient of baking soda. Baking soda added to the cooking liquid can reduce the time it takes for the gelatinization to occur which in turn shortens the cooking time. You can use vegetable stock or chicken broth in place of the water. I tasted and it was good but wanted to kick it up and added chopped scallions and chopped chipotles for a kick. Just remember to simmer over very low heat so low you don't think it is cooking.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring water to boil in a heavy bottom 4 quart pan over medium high heat.
  2. Stir in salt, and baking soda. Slowly pour cornmeal into the water in a steady stream stirring with a wooden spoon.
  3. Bring to a boil stirring consistently for 1 minute.
  4. Reduce to the very lowest heat possible and cover.
  5. After 5 minutes whisk polenta to smooth out any lumps for 15 seconds,scraping down sides and bottom of pan. Cover and continue to cook without stirring until grains are tender but slightly al dente. About 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.
  7. Stir in scallions and chipotle if using.

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