Fluffy Polenta

Fluffy Polenta

Fluffy Polenta 1920 2560 Daryl Duarte

Watch my step-by-step video of how to make polenta – and then turn it from average to spectacular – by “whipping it” into shape – in this case – my fluffy polenta – which I use as a base for many dinners.  This is a do-ahead preparation – and gets you set up to enjoy your own party – knowing you have a fantastic element – ready to go into the microwave and in only a few minutes – and a twist of the wrist – you have something really marvelous for your family and friends to enjoy.

Fluffy Polenta

Polenta is an old fashioned, peasant dish - sometimes used to stretch a food budget and fill hungry tummies. All well and good. But you can "upscale" this dish - by adding some extra flavor - with cheese and butter - and then gild the lily - by following my instructions for making "fluffy" polenta. You simply make the polenta, allow it to cool and firm up in the refrigerator (good do ahead step) - and then - portion some into a microwave ready bowl - and microwave and whip - in increments of 2 / 3 minutes - until the polenta is fluffy and hot. Serve onto a plate, and use a foundation for many meals - meatballs, sausage and peppers, lamb shanks - one more delicious than the next! And it all rests on the bed of this wonderful, easy, inexpensive polenta basic.


  • 1 1/2 cups yellow coarse cornmeal
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup parmesan / Romano grated cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter


  • Using a heavy bottom pan, combine the water, salt and cornmeal and set over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Lower heat and cover, stirring ever 10 minutes.
  • Cook for approximately 45 minutes, until the corn has bloomed, and the mixture is creamy looking.
  • Then add the cheese and butter and stir to mix and melt the butter.
  • Transfer the polenta into a low casserole dish, cool, cover and refrigerate. This will turn to very stiff once completely cold.
  • This step can be done a few days in advance.
  • Then, on the day of the dinner – portion as much polenta as you need, depending upon the number of guests (approximately ¾ cup per person is a nice portion – more for “big eaters” into a microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave for 3 minutes, and then using a spatula, break up the polenta and start vigorously mixing it – or “whipping it”. Check for temperature – and if necessary – return to the microwave in 1-to-2-minute intervals – and whip the polenta after each interval – until it is hot and fluffy.
  • Then portion onto the plates and top with whatever you are serving – such as meatballs, fish, poultry, lamb etc.


This is a very versatile dish – and will go with just about anything.
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