1tablespoonchopped fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, chives(optional)
Preheat bath to 185° F / 85° C.
Combine the cornmeal, water, milk, salt and butter in a large Ziplock bag.
Hand squeeze to mix ingredients (especially the butter).
Place in the water bath and use the water displacement method to remove the air and seal the bag. Cook for 2 hours.
Remove bag from the water bath and transfer to a warmed serving bowl. Mix in the Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. Taste for seasoning and serve warm.
Any combination of water, milk and chicken/veggie stock can be used, depending on taste and creaminess desired. Or just one of them.
Milk adds richness. Stock adds flavor. Water allows the polenta flavor to shine.
You can vacuum seal, but using a Ziplock allows you to reseal the bag for keeping the polenta warm. If it cools, it will harden a bit.
Make crispy polenta (either with or without the Parmesan and herbs) by pouring into a loaf pan or spreading out on a parchment-lined sheet pan, and refrigerating overnight before slicing and browning in the oven or a skillet.
Polenta can also be "held in the bag" in the sous vide bath at 140° until serving to maintain the texture.
When serving, warm the bottom of the serving bowl in the water bath for around 30 seconds so it doesn't cool the polenta down.