Bring the water to a boil in a medium pan. Add salt reduce heat to medium low. As soon as the water begins to simmer, start pouring in the cornmeal in a thin stream, very slowly while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps. Once all the cornmeal has been added, keep the water at a simmer, and stir frequently. should take between 25-30 minutes to fully cook Once it is cooked, it should pull away from the sides of the pot easily.
Soft Polenta: Use polenta directly out of the pot, topped with sauce or vegetables as desired. scoop a good portion on a plate, let it sit for a minute or two. Next top the polenta with a scoop of your favorite sauce. add grated Parmesan cheese to the polenta and sauce.
Firm Polenta: After it is completely cooked, place on wooden board or a greased baking sheet 2 inches thick and allow to set. Cut into squares.
Baked Polenta: Cut firm polenta into slices, place in a buttered baking dish. Add favorite topping, bake at 375°F till golden.
Grilled Polenta: Cut firm polenta into squares, brush with oil and grill lightly on both sides.
Fried Polenta: Cut the firm polenta into slices and fry in a few inches of hot oil till golden brown and crispy.