For years I sold Italian Polenta on my retail shelves
only to have it trumped last night by Bob's Red Mill
And I know I have given you polenta recipes before,
but I have now perfected a cheesy polenta that rivals
the extraordinary one I always order at Sportello in Boston
I had it last night with caramelized red peppers and
an OAF chicken hot off the grill, lettuce from the garden....
life is good.
And you know me, I like to share!
PERFECT CHEESY POLENTA
with caramelized red peppers
5 cups cold water
1 T kosher salt
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Polenta
3 T unsalted Pasture Butter
1 heavy cup of grated sharp cheese
(I used a Sardinian goat cheese called Moliterno
that I am in love with and get from Max at the Blue Hill Wine Shop)
3 organic red bell peppers - cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 T good balsamic vinegar
a bit of red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo)
2 T fresh basil leaves, julienned
Kosher salt to taste
For the polenta:
Place your water and salt into a heavy bottomed sauce pan
(I love my Creuset for this)
Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in your polenta
Continue whisking until it comes back to a boil
Turn your heat down to a gentle simmer and let it cook
until thick and creamy - this takes about 30 minutes.
You don't have to stand there stirring it, but do stir
it rather often so it gets creamy and not stuck to the bottom of your pot
When it is just about done add your butter and cheese, stir until blended
and cook for another few minutes.
It should look a bit softer than you think it should be - but
by the time it hits your plate it will be perfect.
Meanwhile, make your peppers:
Heat a few T of grapeseed oil in a sauté pan over med-low heat
Add the peppers and season with kosher salt
Basically let them melt and brown in your pan over med-low heat
until they are very soft and caramelized
This will take about 30 minutes
Towards the end of cooking, season them with some red pepper flakes
and the balsamic vinegar.
When they are done, turn off the heat, toss the fresh basil in and
adjust your salt if necessary.
Serve over the polenta and drizzle with olive oil