Wednesday, April 1, 2009

polenta with gorgonzola

this recipe is from bon appétit, february 2000, and is a recipe they sourced from union square cafe, new york, NY for a reader.
and it is exactly nine years ago that i first made this dish. the weather was cooling down and this was beckoning. because the cornmeal is cooked in milk and cream, rather than the traditional water or stock, the resulting polenta is refined and smooth. and rich. then the gorgonzola takes it to another level, as do the walnuts.
gorgonzola is so good grilled - find any excuse to try it - i'm sure even a vegetarian friend would be happy to help out (this recipe uses cream and milk instead of stock, remember? so all's good unless they're vegan), and a carnivore friend probably wouldn't even notice there wasn't any meat because this is so satisfying. and this is so simple, so there's no need to get yourself to new york to try it - go to new york for some other reason.

yield: 6 first-course or 6 side-dish servings

4 cups milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup polenta (coarse yellow cornmeal)*

1 1/2 cups crumbled gorgonzola cheese (about 6 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, lightly toasted walnuts

bring milk and whipping cream to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. gradually whisk polenta into milk mixture in slow steady stream. Reduce heat to medium-low. cook polenta until creamy and tender, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. season to taste with salt and pepper.
preheat broiler. transfer cooked polenta to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. sprinkle gorgonzola cheese over polenta. broil until cheese melts. sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts and serve immediately.
*polenta (coarse yellow cornmeal) is available at italian markets, natural foods stores and some supermarkets. if unavailable, substitute 1 cup regular yellow cornmeal, and cook mixture for about 12 minutes rather than 20 minutes.

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