Live and Learn

24 Sep

I fixed Polenta Puttanesca for dinner today, and while the Puttanesca part went well, the polenta presented a bit of a problem.

The secret is to add the cornmeal to the pot very slowly. Normally, I let the cornmeal fall into the boiling water from my flour sifter, while I stir with my other hand. Today, I didn’t do that; I just dribbled the cornmeal directly from the measuring cup, which – of course – led to lumpy mess. I tried mashing the lumps against the side of the pot with the back of the spoon, breaking them up with a fork, and whipping the entire business with a wire whisk. I even put it into the electric mixer.

No joy.

“Aha! I will ladle the lumps into my potato ricer. That will break up the lumps and push them through the holes.” No such luck. Maybe it was because I used the finest of the three discs, but all of the lumps stayed behind, and I was left with a solid plate of cornmeal between the disc and the the plunger. I stirred in a bit of butter and some hot water, which helped, and once we poured the tomato sauce over it, neither of us noticed.

stock photo

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