Bon Appetit Instant Pot Polenta

I contacted Bon Appetit via Twitter and email for an explanation or credit, but they replied with sassy insults, instead.

I wanted to be wrong, but the Bon Appetit author hasn’t been able to share how she came up with a technique that experts who have been pressure cooking for 30+ years, like Lorna Sass, said was nearly impossible to make under pressure. Let’s be honest, polenta is tricky!  So why is Bon Appetit’s technique so similar to a technique and recipe that I published on this website in 2010?

To be clear: I am not claiming copyright on their recipe.  I am simply asking the magazine for details on how they came up with the method, or to credit the source that heavily inspired it.

The similarities between Bon Appetit’s written recipe and my polenta recipe and technique are:

  1. The polenta-to-liquid ratio is the same – this is something I came up with on my own after I tried already-published recipes, such as The Veggie Queen’s Polenta from 2008 (too stiff), and Italian bloggers (measured by weight).
  2. The ingredient note is the same – I warn readers not to use “instant” polenta.  That’s because in my testing it solidifies before the cooker has had a chance to reach pressure. I don’t see this as an obvious note – since someone is using the pressure cooker to make things faster it would make sense to try using a faster-cooking version of polenta as well.
  3. Continuing to stir the ingredients up until the lid is closed is the same – this is a technique I talk about and credit to an Italian blog (to which I link).  I hadn’t seen it anywhere outside of that blog.  Honestly, it’s a great idea because the starch from the polenta does not have time to settle on the bottom of the pressure cooker and burn before the cooker reaches pressure.
  4. The cooking time is nearly the same, it differs by 1 minute – In the world of pressure cookery, this difference will give the same results. So, it is actually not really a difference. I came up with the timing using an ancient Italian venting pressure cooker (Barazzoni) and this was the average time it took before the polenta stated to smell burnt.  I later found the timing also worked with modern stovetop and electric pressure cookers – likely due to the small size and refined nature of cornmeal – so I recommend the same timing for both.
  5. The opening method is nearly the same, both release pressure through the valve, only the speed differs – my recipe and techniques have had this updated several times during the 8 years it has been online (links to independent verification at the bottom of this post).  Originally I called for a “cold-water quick”, when electric pressure cookers became popular I called for a “normal” (quick) release, and the current recipe has an opening method that I came up with “slow normal”  which was added as a safety precaution to prevent bubbles of super-heated steam from coming to the surface after the lid is removed <–Please read this alert before following Bon Appetit’s dangerous instructions to open a pressure cooker polenta with a quick (normal) release.

The differences between the two recipes and methods are:

  1. The cornmeal is drizzled into cold water at Bon Appetit and boiling water for the Hip method.

Below is an exchange I had on Twitter with Carla Lalli, Food Director, at Bon Appetit Magazine and author of the polenta recipe on this matter. My additional thoughts on how the differences between their written recipe and video make it obvious the author is probably being less than truthful are below the conversation.

Whether you have Twitter or not, I recommend reading this discussion directly through this Twitter moment – as it also includes reactions and opinions from respected food writers, culinary educators, and food world influencers and thinkers.

https://twitter.com/hippressurecook/status/980511656529850370

 

https://twitter.com/hippressurecook/status/982194738328514561

Please note that in  Bon Appetit’s pressure cooker polenta video the author just dumps all of the ingredients (water, polenta, cheese, and pepper)  in the Instant Pot without stirring calls it a “dump & go” recipe and sets the time but the written recipe on their website (and magazine) – actually written by the same person in the video – says to bring the ingredients to a simmer stirring before closing the lid just as my method and recipe do.  I find this difference odd for someone who authored the recipe and also claims via Twitter conversation, above, to have prepared it at home a couple of years before publishing it.

In my opinion, the video is all the proof that is needed to show that the Bon Appetit author did not develop their own recipe and method.

The video shows when the pressure cooker is opened that the polenta is still raw (probably caused by the cheese accidentally added at the beginning sticking to the base preventing the cooker from reaching pressure). And, yes, I have been making polenta from the time I was a child (and that was a long time ago) so I can spot raw cornmeal from a mile away.

Bon Appetit Polenta video shows raw polenta after cooking – someone didn’t follow their “own” technique, apparently.

Note that there is very little starch being released, the grains are not a uniform color and the grains still hold their original shape even after being stirred. No amount of whisking is going to turn that mess into the polenta they have in the photo – in fact, if a whisk can whip through it, the polenta is not fully cooked. When it is poured into a dish at the end of the video, you can still see the polka-dots of the raw grains – not a light yellow creamy polenta as is shown in their photo.  It’s raw.

Notice the grains poking out of the mix and the polenta plopping and not pouring out in a smooth fully-cooked starch-filled stream.

In the video, the lady even pretends that the polenta is cooked correctly by saying that it’s supposed to look raw when you remove the lid (FYI: it’s not).  If you’ve been making polenta at home, following the technique Bon Appetit printed in the magazine and website or something similar, for two years you’d realize that the polenta isn’t cooked and maybe do a re-shoot of the video? I emphasize this point to make it clear that the author is not making a thoroughly-tested oft-used recipe and that polenta really is a tricky ingredient that can’t be improvised into perfection.

In closing, I would like to note that Bon Appetit’s magazine editor has not replied to my original e-mail, that was addressed to him directly,  to either defend the reputation of the magazine and recipe author or to find a way to rectify the pressure cooker polenta pilfering.

As a, now former, fan of the publication I can’t help but see this sass and silence as a tarnish of their long-standing reputation.

So… what do you think about this?

Please share your thoughts in the comments, below, or via Twitter. Thank you for taking the time to learn about an issue that is important to me and the time and the work I put behind my techniques and no-fail tested recipes.

 

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45 Comments

  1. I think it’s appalling and I believe you have a legitimate complaint. Her comment that it came to her in a dream is insulting and proof that she can’t argue with facts.
    Having said that, I have never noticed your recipe for polenta before but it has me intrigued! I’ll be trying it out, so thank you!

    1. I hope you like it! I think I’ll be making my own video for it, soon. ; )

      Ciao,

      L

  2. I’d guess that she got it from your site years ago and has forgotten where she got it from. The gracious thing for her to do would be to acknowledge that she probably got it from your site and can’t remember doing so.

    1. Ciao, Rusty!!

      Yes, that’s what I originally thought, too. But when I watched the cooking video, more critically, I don’t believe for a minute that this lady has been making this polenta “for a couple of years”. Seriously. Maybe not more than a couple of times – with or without pressure. She had a whole bag of cornmeal, an entire stick of butter and a pantry full of pecorino.

      How hard would have been to realize something wrong happened when the polenta came out raw and just re-shoot the part of the video where she puts the ingredients in the cooker and pours it out?!?! But she went on pretending like it turned out OK and even adding that it’s supposed to look like it’s not cooked. Puhleeeze!!

      Ciao,

      L

  3. I think it is likely that her recipe is based on yours, and that what you ask, “details on how they came up with the method, or to credit the source that heavily inspired it” is a reasonable request. After watching the video, I’m not surprised that you were given a defensive and unprofessional response to your inquiry. The apparent refusal to provide a back-story does not add to her credibility. On the other hand, it would add to her credibility to make a statement such as, “I have created a variation of PC polenta using sources, _____.” Keep up the hip work. I’ve learned so much from your site, and I come back often. Maybe someday you’ll even convince me to go electric!

    1. Thanks for the support, Piero. That video is ridiculous on multiple levels. I thought it was really reaching for a story to say that she came up with and idea for the recipe following the Italian tradition of adding cheese and pepper to pasta. Ahem! I’m pretty sure we’ve been adding cheese and pepper to polenta for centuries! What the heck?!?

      Electric pressure cookers will get better and better to the point where, eventually, you’ll convince yourself. ; ) I haven’t given up on trying to convince European manufacturers to create their own premium, quality electric. There is a big hole in the market that is waiting to be filled – and I it’s not one that Instant Pot can satisfy.

      Ciao,

      L

  4. It was you who used sassy insults continuously, I was very impressed with the mature responses from them and shocked at the immature petty tweets from you. Until, like me, they got fed up with your whining. Be the bigger person and grow up! Unfollow!

    1. Carla?

      If you call asking someone who refuses to share how they developed a VERY similar recipe to give credit where it’s due an insult or pointing out that a mistake was made in the video that anyone who has ever made polenta (with or without pressure) could spot an insult- then I’ll have to agree with you that I’m guilty as charged.

      If you look at the twitter moment big names in food writing and editing support my claim – they even state that this case is an “obvious” lift.

      Ciao,

      L

    2. Yep, I am with you, Snow. Petty was a word I forgot to use in my own post!

  5. When I watched her video, the first thing I noticed was the complete lack of respect she showed for the guy who was more than willing to stir non-stop for 40 minutes to prepare a delicious dish. She made it very clear she would never ‘waste’ that much time or energy. Her comments and attitude made it pretty clear she is a “lazy” cook – one who is always looking for shortcuts or better yet a way to get someone else do the actual work while she pigs out and takes all the credit.
    I have 18 seriously damage vertebrae (no option or way to repair)and 2 blown knees (surgery in 2 weeks to replace the knee that dislocates most often- first) all from being a passenger in a car accident while in college — and yet I gladly stood and stirred for 30 minutes last month, just to prepare my husbands favorite dish for our 35th anniversary. My husband is the love of my life! and I would do it again tomorrow, just to see the smile on his face when he takes that first bite!!

    1. Janye, you’re amazing! Thank you for sharing your story and to show us that sometimes the effort to do things well is totally worth it.

      Happy 35th Anniversary!!!

      Ciao,

      L

  6. IMHO Carla Lillian Music plagiarized and lacks the stones to say she forgot to give you credit OR never intended to do so. Given the current ethical dilemma of misleading media in general, I am SADLY, NOT SURPRISED.

    DISGUSTED? YES. APPALLED? YES

    Surprised? Nope

    The editor should make her cook it in front of a group, like she is teaching a class and assess how smoothly she performs & if the polenta is smooth and creamy.

    1. Honestly, I think the editor must have asked her about it and – as she stated in the tweets – she likely told him there were substantive differences. He probably took her word for it and moved on. Though, there is no excuse for the executive editor deciding to decide to publish a video that is REALLY different from the written recipe.

      Ciao,

      L

  7. Snow?! – definitely not “as pure as the driven …” if that was Carla or even if it wasn’t.
    I so admire people like you who can test a recipe concept over and over until it is not only tasty but as simple as possible for others to follow. And then you kept improving it.
    I find it unfathomable that the editor did not even contact you/ I have found issues with some of their other recipes. I would not have looked at this recipe on their site, or yours, as polenta is not something I am interested in. I am interested in fairness and professionalism, which was not exhibited by the “author” or the editor, and why I read this article.
    Shame on Bon Apetit.

  8. Laura,

    I’ve used your polenta recipe. It works brilliantly.

    I re-read through your article and compared it with the Bon Appetite article. There is absolutely no doubt that the Bon Appetite has plagiarized your recipe.

    I can tell you are a nice, polite person and you’re probably feeling that it’s best to just let this slide and not make a fuss about it. However, I can also tell that you work very hard on your site and your recipe development and that some acknowledgement is due to you on this. Rightly so!

    I just want to encourage you to pursue this matter with all vigor. These people count on you rolling-over and never challenging them.

    The reason you are getting sass instead of a reasoned response is because you have caught them red-handed and called out the writer on her plagiarism. To her, a good offense is the best defense.

    I just looked up this “writer”, Carla Lalli Music. Ooooof… She’s a rough one. I’ve had to deal folks like this before. She’ll prefer a scorched earth death match over the slightest admission of error. It wont be easy or polite taking them on. They have no intention of being ‘fair’. Ever.

    I don’t want to discourage you but if you understand how they will react then you will have a much easier path to press your claim. Here is how it will progress;

    * They will always lie – We’ve already established that! It will not stop. Ever.

    * They will appeal to credentialism and entitlement – We’re starting to see some of this already in her Twitter responses. Eventually, you will see something from them along the lines of “I have a prestigious job at a marquee publication in New York and you are merely an insignificant blogger from fly-over country. How DARE you question ME??!!” It will not stop. Ever.

    * They will try to bog you down with pointless hair-splitting arguments. – “8 minutes vs. 9 minutes” Yeah, right… Don’t take the bait on this.

    * They will double-down on the lies, hair-splitting and credentialism. After they do that, they will double-down again. And again.

    * At a certain point they will start accusing YOU of misdeeds and wrong-doing. This is when you know you have them. Whatever it is they accuse you of you can be assured that that is exactly what they are guilty of. They will always project their own wrongs on everyone else.

    You really need to hold out for full credit of the recipe development and accept nothing less. Sadly, what will happen is, at best, they may offer to add something in very small print stating that the recipe was adapted from HipPressureCooking.com. In their minds, this acknowledgement is HUGELY GENEROUS (see appeal to credentialism and entitlement).

    Don’t take it.

    Insist on full credit for recipe development prominently display in the text of the on-line article and a credit screen added to the beginning of the video to last at least 5 seconds. If the recipe is in the print version of Bon Appetite then also insist on a prominently displayed correction and acknowledgement in the next issue. Insist, insist, insist!!

    They will never agree to this. They will remove the recipe and video from the website. When this happens you have won. You and your readers will know the real story of how you took a stand for honesty and integrity and won.

    Go get ‘em!!!

    1. Here, here! Darryl has it right on all accounts, and his comment is well-reasoned and well-written.

      1. Thank you Darryl and Madeline!

        Ciao,

        L

      2. I agree, as well. This is a kind of intellectual property theft, and it is both shameful and transparent.

  9. I am a personal friend of the very first Editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit. Under her direction, the magazine was of high quality and the utmost integrity. That was many years ago, however. It has continued to go downhill ever since she left.

    I was offered a FREE subscription to Bon Appetit when making a purchase at Sur la Table about five years ago. I turned it down. I know I won’t bother to look at it, so why have the extra chore of carting it to the landfill? They only exist in order to sell eyes to advertisers, and their underpaid writers’ “recipe development” likely consists of an hour’s worth of googling, then they write it up, and submit. These days, they count on writers doing their own testing. There is no independent recipe testing. How much time do you think a writer will spend on an article they are being paid $150 to produce?

    As the writer above has accurately pointed out, your only possible victory will be for them to take the video and recipe down from their website. And that will take much effort and angst on your part. Is it worth it to you? Ambitious and unethical people steal other people’s ideas ALL THE TIME. And there is very rarely any recourse. You are busy and productive, and people who care know that they can trust your recipes. And if anyone is naive enough to trust a recipe in Bon Appetit, after a disaster or two, they will learn the hard way that it is a source that is never to be trusted.

    Carry on!

    1. Oh, wow Z! This was very informational – and telling of the limited resources, time and their effects on quality. Shortly, Bon Appetit will be indistinguishable from any online food blog – but with a lot more baggage. The only thing that distinguishes them now is their history and laurels – and both are getting pretty tarnished by the edgy, quirky and sassy staff.

      Thank you for your support.

      Ciao,

      L

  10. Hi Laura
    my impression of both this post and your twitter conversation is that you are not a particularly likeable person, and certainly very aggressive.
    This should not be a public fight, making it so does NOT put you in a good light. Instead, you are petty, petulant, and downright unpleasant. why the hell would you write an entire post about this? To show that you defend every single freaking recipe and spend every spare hour of your day comparing? There are MANY other things you could do with your time, and certainly many other ways you could approach a situation.
    I agree with a friend of mine who had an experience with you in the past that was extraordinarily distasteful. You publicly went after her in a manner that turned her stomach. when I mentioned you on a post about instant pot, she sent me the ‘conversation’. I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. There is no doubt in me any more. I am going to cancel my subscription to your emails, Flipping off on people, in public no less, is pure bad manners. There are lots of talented and nice people out there who have instant pot recipes that are as good or better than yours. I will give them my business.
    Thanks for showing your true colours. Pretty ugly. Enjoy your messy angry approach to life!

    1. Terry, I tried to contact Bon Appetit via e-mail and if they had responded we could have handled the matter privately. Do you seriously think that in 8 years online this is the first and only pilfering experience? There are many more, some top websites and other food magazines as well. If I defended “every single freaking recipe” half the posts here would be drama – and that would just distract from my goal teaching people how to pressure cook.

      I chose to share this one because it was such an obvious matter that it didn’t seem right to let them get away with it. Plus, on Twitter it was turning into a “yes, you did”, “no, I didn’t” conversation so I was compelled to write this article to spell out the similarities, and single difference, of the technique. I would have gladly put that information in an e-mail if Bon Appetit was interested in engaging privately.

      Please read the entire “Twitter Moment” because I’m not the only one to notice the similarities of the technique and inconsistencies of their video.

      If you call asking for clarification flipping someone off, then I am guilty as charged!

      Oh, I don’t have anything to hide. Please feel free to share the details of this mysterious “stomach-turning” interaction that showed me in a bad light by creating an “extraordinarily distasteful” experience. I’m pretty sure it’s about pressure cooking liquor and vanilla, and I’m pretty sure my focus was on the safety of the practice. And BTW, that person e-mailed me last month to ask to contribute pins to the Hip Pinterest board – so it’s pretty safe to say they’re over the “traumatic” event of being called out in public for proposing an unsafe technique.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. P.S. Apparently you are posting under a false e-mail address to hide your identity because I could not find the one you used for your comment in the database to grant your wish of being removed from the newsletter.

  11. As a long-time Bon Appetit subscriber, their response (and lack thereof) is incredibly disappointing. How hard is it to say, “I’m sorry, we’ll give you credit.” It doesn’t cost ANYTHING. Definitely time to unsubscribe! Love your website and all your recipes, please don’t let the jerks get you down.

    1. Yes, or even…

      “You’ve got this totally wrong, Ms. Pazzaglia.

      Ms. Lalli has been working on this recipe since 2015, after over two years of trials she was inspired by the vortex of a hurricane to keep the polenta spinning as she closed the lid. She special-orders the polenta from a small Italian deli around the corner that is a direct importer – because she knows our readers wouldn’t settle for a supermarket cornmeal.

      Since the papa bear porridge ratio was too stiff, and the mama bear ratio was too soft, she went with the magical baby bear 4:1 porridge ratio – that was just right. It reminded her exactly of a polenta topped with shredded boar ragu after a long day of skiing and spelunking in hand-made snowshoes in the frigid Italian Alps last summer.

      Look, when we filmed the video she was having a bad day. She had to deal with a new pressure cooker (and the manual was too confusing), the antzy camera crew, the hungry visitors… you know what that’s like. Unfortunately, Ms. Lalli decided to ‘wing’ the recipe from memory. Maybe it wasn’t a very good memory, but she was able to salvage the footage by pretending that the under-cooked polenta is supposed to look raw when you open the cooker. The video is quite edgy, it would be difficult to evoke the same spontaneity and belittlement of her colleagues with the same gusto and energy by re-recording the video segment.

      So you, see, it really was an amazing coincidence that the technique is so similar to yours! Thank you for writing to Bon Appetit.”

      … I mean, I would have almost believed it!

      Ciao,

      L

  12. I love your cookbooks, the helpful hints. My favorite is freezing presoaked beans. I believe that lady used your recipe and made a subtle difference ( or so she thought) to claim it. ATK is always trying to mimic a recipe or improve on it and they give plenty of credit to the original cook or author. She could have easily given you the credit due you and said she was making changes she thought was better. Then we could decide for ourselves which we liked best. I love that you spend so much of your time to help us have more time. Keep it up!!! Dorie

  13. Laura, I’m sure there must be a bored lawyer out there somewhere who will take your polenta issue up. Good luck Mickey

    1. Bon Appetit has not done anything illegal in this case so I don’t know how either a bored or even perky lawyer could help here.

      Immorality is not against the law.

      Ciao,

      L

  14. “Edgy, quirky, and sassy”— Exactly how I would characterize the magazine. I find Bob Appetit’s recipes to be rather ridiculously edgy, quirky, and sassy. I cannot say I’ve found any recipe from them recently that inspired me to even attempt it. This treatment from their Food Director explains everything, as does Z’s comment above. And as for Terry’s comment that there are a lot of better Instant Pot recipes out there, and that you shouldn’t be so high-and-mighty, well, be high-and-mighty. You’ve earned it. You’re not just some blogging amateur putting recipes out there. You were here long before the Instant Pot. I relied on your site when I was first using my stovetop pressure cooker. I came back to see what you had to say about the Instant Pot when Andrea Nguyen raved about it. You convinced me to buy the Fagor version, because of their pressure regulating mechanism, and their long history in the pressure cooker business. When I’m looking for a recipe to cook something under pressure, in my multi-cooker or stovetop cooker, I check your site first. I find nothing distasteful or offensive in your interaction with Ms. Lalli Music, at least not on your side of it. I’ll be cancelling my free subscription to BA, as it would just be going straight into my recycling bin. Thank you for pressure cooker wisdom!

  15. Hi Laura: Unless people put the time and effort into making sure that recipes are the best they can be as you do they will not understand your frustration. All I can say is keep up the great work. Your trials and tribulations have made my life much more easier and for that I thank you.

    Mil

  16. Sounds very shakey/suspicious/fox caught in the henhouse type flippant answer. Even more so because it was also very defensive sounding. Hang in there…I don’t use that site anyway.

  17. Hi Laura,
    There is something about good recipes that brings out the worst in people. Even relatives and close friends will claim your recipe if it’s delicious. So it’s not surprising that a magazine whose raison d’etre is reporting about food and creating recipes, would cross that line between, “Laura’s polenta is so good, it inspired me to make it her way, but I tweaked it a little”, or, “I have a new way of making polenta that’s the absolute best!”

  18. This may be heresy, but the best way to make polenta is in an old fashion double boiler. Put enough water into a pot so it comes half-way up the double-boiler insert. Mix the desired amount of polenta meal and water and whatever other ingredients you want. Heat the water to simmering, stirring the polenta occasionally. When it thickens, turn off the heat, cover, and let it set while you use your pressure cooker to make something delicious to go on top of the polenta. Chicken stew. Ratatouille Yum.

    The double boiler will not need to be soaked for an hour to get it clean.

    1. Not heresy, I mention the different methods in the original polenta article – hadn’t heard of the double-boiler though. My opinion is that the end-product is what matters. If the consistency is creamy and the cornmeal is fully cooked it doesn’t matter how you got there!

      Ciao,

      L

  19. Hi Laura,
    I fully understand your frustration – theft is theft after all!! I had a similar issue with people lifting photographs from my website, but that’s much easier to prove. Other people have lifted text word for word and were surprised when challenged, but in the end re-wrote their own copy. We all work hard at producing good quality work, and when someone else just steals it without giving a thought about crediting or asking, then it hurts.
    If it’s any consolation, I’ve not bothered with Bon Appetit for years, it’s just too bleh!

    1. Hahaha! Welp, if was only “that” easy!!

      Ciao,

      L

  20. Glad you at least called them out on it, but what utter and blatant nonsense on their part! It’s clear that they copied you and in a court of law, you’d clearly come out the winner. What’s worse is their unethical lack of transparency and ignoring your claim.

    This happens EVERY DAY all the time. I’m so disgusted with almost no one giving credit on recipes, even if it was just for inspiration! I wrote a post on that, myself (below).

    I recently found someone (let’s call her a BIG blogger with WAY more followers than me) who totally copied a recipe and tip that I came up with when making my scones. No credit for anything to anyone, including the scone recipe that she magically had appear in her head one day after eating them in the UK! Magic, I tell you!

    So when I saw that “tip” I almost blew a fuse, but what can I do? Like you said, it’s not like we are claiming copyright, but in the interest of honesty and fairness, why wouldn’t you say, “I saw this great idea over at X’s site!” The worst part is, this woman has messed up the stolen scone recipe so much that almost all of the comments are saying how they don’t turn out! No response from her either, but hey, she has almost 400K followers on FB, so apparently she doesn’t care.

    I wish people would take the time to know the person whose recipe they are using. If you can’t trust the author, how can you trust the recipe?

    https://www.christinascucina.com/traditional-british-eton-mess-and-knowing-the-source-of-a-recipe/

    1. Christina, thanks for sharing this. Sorry to take so long to reply, it took me a while to get a few free moments where I could sit down and read the article in full. I really appreciate that you include tips to motivate a cook to do a little digging before blindly following a recipe with a pretty picture.

      Thanks for taking the time to commiserate with me and sharing your (and your friend’s) stories.

      Ciao,

      L

  21. Acknowledge and attribute — how hard is it, really? Good cookbook authors acknowledge and attribute in thei recipe headnotes … No one respects them less because of it. Food writers who do the same are not considered less talented or worthy for it.
    You are right, they are wrong.
    Oh and don’t take the non-response from BA’s editor personally. He’s known to most every female food writer as an arrogant, sanctimonious pr*ck. You’ll never hear from him.
    [Writing under a pseudonym because my career would be deep-sixed if it got out that I wrote that, even though 90% of my female colleagues feel the same way.]

  22. I haven’t tried your polenta recipe. My stovetop polenta attempts were tasty but ridiculous looking! A local woman has a stone ground mill and grinds her own coarse cornmeal so you can bet I’m eager to try your recipe. Apropos of the general credibility of B.A. I was a devoted subscriber for many years and it helped me be a better cook. I stopped taking it because of the ready availability of recipes and techniques on the internet, you tube, sites such as yours etc. I recently re subscribed and just got my first copy. There is almost nothing foodworthy in it. I was so disappointed. Clearly the magazine has taken a left turn into product placement at the expense of food writing and research. I missed so many old features. Just page after page of shiny photos and very little text. There was no voice of authority and I did not feel I could rely on the magazine to guide me in food matters. On the basis of the magazine alone and their orientation these days I say you win, hands down.

  23. My comment isn’t about the pilfering so much as a nagging question I can’t get answered about making polenta in an instant pot is how you keep it from sticking and causing a “burn” notification. I put the water in first and wait for it to boil [or not sometimes] then add the polenta and before it gets up to pressure I get the burn notification. I don’t have any leaks in my seal. I’ve tried broth, adding salt and oil [sometimes butter], but the only consistent result from my IP Ultra is that I get the “burn” notification.

    1. Eric, I think this is another issue of the ULTRA in addition to the one I mentioned in my review. A reader in the forums noted their ULTRA kept overheating – and they returned it twice:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/forums/topic/ip-ultra-saute-function-issue/

      In case you haven’t seen it, here is my review:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/instant-pot-ultra-review/

      But, besides all of that, as I mention at the top of this article the reason I recommend bringing the water to a boil and continuing to stir until the lid is closed is to keep the cornmeal from settling to the bottom of the cooker – which would give you an “overheat” error in the electric.

      Ciao,

      L

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