This month's Cook's Illustrated has an article about making creamy polenta. The "secret" is to use a pinch of baking soda - it's added along with the salt to boiling water before adding the polenta in a steady stream while whisking. Ratio of water: polenta is 5:1 for creamy polenta.
They say to whisk steadily for one minute - should be lump free. Lower heat to have the polenta just barely steaming - put the pan cover on. In 5 minutes, come back to whisk some more and scrape down the sides and corners of your pot. Continue with the lid on at a very low flame. Let it cook for about 25 minutes - no need to stir. The polenta should not be bubbling away - if it is then use a flame diffuser or a foil ring to put some more distance between the bottom of the pot and the flame. A tin lid from a no. 10 can might even do the trick?
Taste after 25 minutes - grains should be tender ...... remove from heat and stir in butter/olive oil and grated parmesan cheese plus S &P. Let sit for 5 minutes, covered. It will be creamy and it won't have required a lot of work. How cool is that?
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