The secret to making soft, creamy, light and fluffy polenta is to use the correct ratio of liquid to polenta. The ratio to make a good creamy polenta is one volume of cornmeal to four volumes of liquid.
In this recipe the creamy polenta is served with mushrooms, but it also pairs well with chicken, lamb and pork.
We begin this recipe by making a basic soft polenta and then whisking in some cheese and butter at the end to make it give it the ultimate fluffy and creamy texture. Make sure the other ingredients for the dish are ready as soft polenta needs to be served immediately after cooking it.
Jazzing up soft polenta
Altering this dish to make it more flavourful and interesting.
Use stock instead of water
Vegetable stock or chicken broth is an easy solution to add extra flavour.
Choose the cheese
We like to use parmesan cheese, but any cheese can be added to polenta. Choose grated aged cheeses if you like pungent, strong flavours, or add fresh goats’ cheese or cream cheese for extra creamy textures.
Herbs add colour
Instead of adding extra herbs to your vegetables, you can also incorporate dried or freshly chopped herbs into the polenta mix. Parsley, chives, sage, thyme, tarragon, and oregano are great choices to add colour and extra flavour!
Soft Polenta with Mixed Mushrooms
EQUIPMENT (click pictures for details)
For the mushrooms
For the garnish
- Roasted meat jus
Prepare the mushrooms
- Brush the mushrooms or wipe with wet tissue to remove any patches of dust or dirt.
- Scrub the mushroom stems if necessary and cut off the roots.
- Cut the mushrooms into quarters or slice.
- Sauté each kind of mushroom separately in olive oil over a high heat. Stir frequently until the mushroom water evaporates. Place the sautéed mushrooms in a colander and continue the second batch.
Finish the mushrooms
- Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat, add the garlic and thyme and cook for a minute.
- Add the sautéed pre-cooked mushrooms in the pan.Season with salt, pepper and chopped parsley.
Prepare the soft polenta
- Bring the milk, stock, saffron threads, olive oil, and salt to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and gradually whisk in the polenta. Keep whisking constantly until thickened and cooked. If the grains are still firm add a little water and continue whisking on the heat until soft.
- Remove from the heat, add the butter, grated parmesan and stir until well combined. Season to taste and serve immediately.