While making Polenta requires only a few staple ingredients, it can be a tad bit hard to manage the amount of cornmeal used. Even after second and third helpings, you’re likely left with leftovers, raising the pertinent question: is there any way to reheat polenta to maintain its freshness?
From Peasant Food to Gourmet Style
Hailing from Northern Italy, Polenta has managed to make a mark in a number of cuisines all around the world. Mainly, Polenta is a dish made from boiled cornmeal and served as a hot porridge. However, over the years, this humble meal has been elevated to a restaurant-quality dish that can be baked, grilled, or fried.
To Save or Not to Save? Can You Reheat Polenta?
Whether you have prepared an earnest to goodness polenta in your kitchen or dined out at a fancy Italian restaurant, it is quite frankly a waste of precious time and money to chuck the leftovers in the bin. However, is it possible to bite into crispy reheated fried polenta or devour a spoonful of fresh reheated polenta?
After significant thought and research, it is safe to say, yes! The good news is, with the right methods, you can enjoy this tasty Italian treat as good as new even after it is kept in the refrigerator.
How to Store Polenta?
Before we move onto that, let us talk a bit about how you can store polenta to minimize its risk of drying out.
If you plan to consume polenta within 2-3 days, store it in the refrigerator. To prevent it from drying, wrap the polenta in a clean cloth on a plate, cover it with paper towels, and secure with plastic wrap. The use of aluminum foil is not advised. You might even vacuum seal the polenta for it to come out as good as new!
How to Reheat Soft Polenta?
Soft polenta would turn into a firm solid in the refrigerator. To properly reheat soft polenta, you can use the following steps to yield the best results:
- Cut the firm polenta into 2-inch cubes and push these pieces through a potato ricer
- Next, add in ¼ to ½ cup of water, milk, or broth per cup of polenta. You may alter the amount of liquid to reach desired consistency.
- Reheat polenta over a low flame, stirring periodically. Alternately, you can even reheat this mix in a microwave for about 2-3 minutes, or until warm.
Soft polenta is ready to serve, as good as new, and just as fresh!
Turn it into Fried Polenta
If you wish to serve your main dish with some crispy polenta, you can use this refrigerated soft polenta and turn it into perfectly crisp fried polenta with the following steps:
- Cut the firm polenta into slices, cubes or any shape you desire
- Dry them out with a paper towel
- Add these slices to some oil/butter in a pan over low/medium flame
- Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Crisp and crunch, fried polenta is good to go!
With these simple tricks, you can ensure your leftover polenta is put to good use!