If you want to make the day ahead, cool the cooked polenta in a large flat pan. Before serving, you can then slice and saute in olive oil, top with a little cheese or sauce... and yummy eats are there before you! OR, if you want to serve a soft polenta with a sauce on top, add extra liquid to make 'softer', and just keep it covered for an hour or so before you want to serve. You can also keep it warm in the oven while the rest of the mail is prepared. I hope you enjoy! Also, send me any comments, as I love to here how these recipes work in your kitchen!
This is a technique, not a precise recipe
Using instruction on package, measure out dry polenta and water or stock.
Add salt as per package directions and 2 - 4 Tablespoons butter.
Preparation techniques: following package directions, you can make on stove top.
Alternative preparation method is to place casserole or glass pan in microwave oven (turn off turntable if you have this feature on microwave). Microwave on high for 10 minutes. Stir. Cook another 5 minutes. Stir. Cook another 5 minutes Repeat. The 3rd time you remove from the microwave, check the liquid. Depending on your polenta, you may need to add additional liquid. At this time add grated cheese.
Cook another 1 – 2 times, each for 5 minutes. Stir after each 5 minute increment. Taste to check when the polenta has your preferred consistency.
When cooked to your satisfaction, top the dish with parmesan cheese and place under broiler to brown. Serve.
NOTE: For each 1-cup dry polenta, use ½ cup of grated cheese and 1 tsp salt You do not have to make the entire box of polenta! Also, I like to replace the water with chicken stock. This makes it more flavorful.
Leftovers. Slice thinly and fry in olive oil. Top with cheese, pesto or marinara sauce.