Special Feature

Polenta Power

"The slow stirring of polenta has another important function: it relieves stress and lightens depression.... And unlike certain other escapes—television, a martini or two, Prozac—you return to the world with a tangible, albeit humble, accomplishment: a pot of perfectly cooked polenta." —from Polenta, by Michele Anna Jordan

Winter brings forth the desire for comfort foods—foods that are cuddly, warm, soft and that roll lovingly across the tongue. Polenta is one of those foods, at least for me and a good many others. On the other hand, the electronic Gourmet Guide publisher (my loving husband) finds it boring, dull and hardly something to get excited about. While he does indulge me in my cravings from time to time, I prefer to sneak in portions of this golden delight when dining separately, when I can ooh and ahh comfortably with each golden bite. But that is what love is all about: making accomodations for each other, so as to share the best of it all. C'est la vie!

In her recent book, appropriately titled Polenta, Michele Anna Jordan once again tackles a singular food subject and spreads it out in all its incarnations for us to examine. Excerpts from her previous Good Cook's series on Tomatoes, Oil & Vinegar, and Mustard have appeared on the electronic Gourmet Guide and we are pleased to offer this, her latest book—hot off the presses from Broadway Books.

Here we present the basics on making soft polenta, but the rest of the book is chock full of exotic recipes using these and recipes for firm polenta as foundations. There may be no need for any of us to explore with polenta—Michele has done the experimenting for us and her results are four-stars: polenta with Walnuts and Gorgonzola, in a Souffle with Chevre Cream, with Chicken and Olives, and firmly cradling a luscious Pear Tart.

We tried them all and you know what? Her recipes are good enough even for our Publisher to eat. So good, in fact that even he asked for more—and of course so did I! Mangia bene, amici...

Kate Heyhoe

"An Italian friend who remembers his grandmother's polenta suspects the constant stirring was a ruse to keep grandchildren occupied while adults tended to other matters."

—Michele Anna Jordan


by Michele Anna Jordan
Broadway Books
$19.95; 1997
ISBN 0-553-06732-X
Copyright © 1997 Michele Anna Jordan.



Making Soft Polenta
Polenta Recipes (by Michele Anna Jordan)
Additional Polenta Recipes

Created 1997. Modified August 2007