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Polenta issue

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've made polenta and grits many many times. Made one today with a polenta mix, we had no corn meal. It has been laying around for a little bit, but I would imagine it would still be fine as its just corn meal. In any case, I did 4-1 ratio, with 1/2 stock and 1/2 cream, cooked it, added smoked Gouda and butter. Cooled it down, went to bring it back for service and it broke, almost every single time. Anybody ever experience this? Why would this happen?
post #2 of 3

The most likely culprit is the butter. If I were you, and making polenta ahead of time, chilling it, and re-heating it as needed, I would make a "base" polenta...that is, polenta, milk/cream, stock, and cook that and chill. When time comes to re-heat it, loosen with stock, and once it melts and becomes liquidy and hot again, whisk in the cold butter to emulsify, and taste and adjust. I would also add any other flavorings (like cheese) at this point as well, and I would keep cheese out of my base. 


When you add butter to the base, chill it, and then bring it back to a boil to reheat it, the butter will essentially melt out and separate into an oil slick. 


The above method is pretty much how I've done it at every restaurant I've been at that serves polenta. We usually use nicer coarse ground, non-instant polenta, but the method is the same. 



post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
That's what I did last night. This happened during Fridays service, Saturday I restarted with a fine corn meal, which I'm used to, and didn't add any butter. I reheated it at the pick up and added the butter and what do ya know, it held. I just never imagined this would be a problem, boy was I wrong.
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