Commercial instant polenta is available in packages in the supermarket, usually displayed near the packaged rice. It would be an adequate substitute for the traditional method of preparation.


  • 1 pound coarsely ground corn meal
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Measure the water into a large pot, add the salt, and heat the water to boiling.
  2. Add the corn meal to the boiling water in a very slow stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to keep lumps from forming.
  3. Don't let the water stop boiling.
  4. Continue stirring as the polenta (mush) thickens, for about 30 minutes, adding small amounts of boiling water if necessary (the longer you stir, the better the polenta will be; the finished polenta should have the consistency of firm mashed potatoes).
  5. The polenta is done when it peels easily off the sides of the pot.


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