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Help Please....How to hold Polenta in steam table

16541 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  JCShehan

I am the chef at a Mountain Lodge in Oregon and are in the process of developing our menu.  One starch that crossed my mind was polenta.  The only concern I have is holding it for service.  Our saute station is rather limited in burners and size and quite frankly polenta to order, even though it only takes about 5 mins to make a single batch, is out of the question.  Is it possible to hold that in a steam table by maybe adding more liquid to account for the continual cooking in the steam table?  Just wondering if anyone has prepped large batches of polenta at a time for service.

Thank you.
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We used to have a soft polenta on the menu. The problem with a '5 minute' polenta is the cornmeal still isn't fully cooked and has a grainy texture, it needs 10 to 15 minutes cooking to really develop, thus not really good for an ala minute dish. When we cooked ahead and placed in the steamtable we had to continue adding liquid all night long and the product at the end of shift was very compromised. We tried precooking and rehydrating on the fly which worked best but still not ideal. We eventually removed it from the menu as we had more sub requests than actual sales ("instead of the polenta could I get it with angel hair?")

good luck with the menu
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