C'est Cheese!




Creamy polenta with mascarpone

We got this recipe from The Union Square Cafe Cookbook. Last July, The Husband-Type Man and I ended up at The Union Square Café on our anniversary, never expecting to get in, but, because it was raining heavily, there were some cancellations and, voila! We ended up having, literally, one of the Best Meals Ever… a Food Epiphany, even. One of the dishes we had was the polenta. I swear, I took a bite and thought the top of my head would come off… and I hatehatehate polenta.

  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 cup polenta (medium-grain yellow cornmeal, not instant)
  • 5 tablespoons mascarpone cheese ( 2 ½ oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola (2 oz.)
  • ¼ cup shelled walnuts, lightly toasted
  1. In a 2-quart, nonreactive saucepan, slowly bring the milk to a boil, stirring every few minutes with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching. To avoid lumpy polenta, follow this method carefully" Hold the cup of polenta in one hand and a firm whisk in the other. Slowly pour the polenta into the milk with a sprinkling motion and whisk constantly until all the polenta is absorbed.
  2. Turn the heat down very low. Switch back to the wooden spoon and thoroughly stir the polenta every 10 minutes for 1 hour. The polenta should have the consistency of firm mashed potatoes. It will have completely lost its raw corn taste and gritty texture. Stir in the mascarpone and season with salt and white pepper.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Spoon the polenta into a heat-resistant dish, dot evenly with the crumbled Gorgonzola, and melt the cheese under the broiler. Sprinkle with the toasted walnuts and serve.

Serves 6