You can certainly serve this polenta soft, right out of the pan, but if you want to make it ahead of time, pan-frying it is very simple.
6 cups water
½ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1¾ to 2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 bunch scallion greens, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Lightly butter a 9-inch round baking pan.
2. Place the water and salt in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Gradually pour in the cornmeal, whisking all the while.
3. When the mixture begins to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the cornmeal begins to thicken, about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Slowly whisk in in the cream, butter, and, if desired, the scallions. Continue cooking until the polenta just begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
5. Pour the polenta into the prepared pan, cover, and refrigerate up to overnight. Just before serving, cut into 6 triangles. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Place the triangles on the skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.
Note: If you want to serve the polenta soft, skip the last step.
From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)