Luckily my husband was able to find the cornmeal, during his grocery shopping extravaganza this week, as making polenta has been on my "to do" list for a quite some time. I will admit, in the past, I would take the easy way out and buy the log of polenta at Trader Joes, if I was preparing it for dinner. And while purchasing packaged polenta, is pretty much against everything I stand for, it really wasn't my laziness that kept me away from making it, it's just that I had no idea how it was actually supposed to taste. Really. We just don't do much polenta here in New England. So I had to do a bit of digging for the real thing. But, this is much tastier than the "packaged log" (as appetizing as anything in "log" form sounds), so farewell pre-packaged polenta. Thanks for the good times.
Polenta with Fontina, Parmesan and Thyme
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens . serves 4
1 1/2 c fontina cheese (6 oz), shredded
1/3 c parmesan cheese, grated
2 T fresh thyme leaves
1 c yellow cornmeal
1 c cold water
1 t salt
black pepper, to taste
2 scallions, chopped
In a medium bowl, stir together fontina, parmesan, and thyme. Set aside. In a medium saucepan bring 2 3/4 cups water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together cornmeal, cold water, and salt. Slowly add cornmeal mixture to boiling water, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to very low. Cook for 10 minutes, until mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally. Pour 1/3 of the polenta mixture to a greased square baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers, ending with the polenta.
Cover with foil and chill in the refrigerator 1 hour, until firm. Bake polenta, uncovered at 350F, 40 minutes, until lightly browned. Season to taste with pepper and top with thyme leaves or scallions.