Fried Polenta

Gorgonzola Fried Polenta,

Gorgonzola Cheese

Oh, the things we do to cornmeal.

For Fried Polenta, the cornmeal is first cooked on the stove, then baked, cooled, and finally fried. The addition of cream and Gorgonzola cheese, however, certainly raises the bar on polenta; the dish complements and rounds out many menus, especially Mexican food. It's a real guy-pleaser, too.

Gorgonzola Fried Polenta

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter +
2 cups water
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan. Sauté the chopped onions in the melted butter until tender, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the water to the saucepan and bring it to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, slowly add the cornmeal. Continue stirring until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the salt, pepper, heavy cream and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.

Pour the mixture into a small, well-buttered cake pan or pie plate, smooth the top, and bake in a preheated 350° oven until firm, about 15 minutes. Cool for at least an hour. (Polenta should not be cut and fried before it reaches room temperature and a solid state.)

    Make-ahead tip: Polenta will keep in the refrigerator for a few days if well-covered. Stop the recipe at this point for storage, then cut the polenta and fry it just before serving.

Cut the polenta into 8 wedges. Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet and fry the polenta wedges until golden, 2 or 3 minutes each side. Serve hot.

The Polenta recipe serves 6. You may want to make an extra batch, though; leftovers are delicious topped with fresh salsa or sauteed mushrooms.

See Fried Polenta in a Gourmet Dinner Party Menu

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