Creamy Polenta Cakes
1 cup milk
2 cups water
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup polenta
4 sage leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup mascarpone
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons grated Parmigiana
*parsley for garnish
In a saucepan combine the milk, water, bay and cayenne. Bring the mixture to a boil over low heat and season generously with salt.
Once the liquid is at a boil and is seasoned appropriately, sprinkle in the polenta whisking constantly. When the polenta is combined switch over to a wooden spoon and stir frequently until the polenta has become thick. Taste the polenta to see if it has cooked through. If it still feels mealy and grainy, add some more milk or water and cook it to a thick consistency. Repeat this process, as needed, until the polenta feels smooth to taste, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the chopped sage and mascarpone.
Line a 7 by 7-inch square pan with plastic wrap. Pour the polenta into the prepared pan. Cover the top with more plastic smoothed onto the surface of the polenta. Chill in the refrigerator until needed. All of this can be done ahead of time.
When ready to use, remove the polenta from the pan and cut into desired shapes (I made mine into rounds). Coat a nonstick saute pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot and starting to smoke just a little, add the polenta shapes. Cook the polenta on both sides and finish by sprinkling with a little bit grated Parmigiana and parsley. Transfer to a serving platter and serve while hot.
Recipe by: Chef Anne Burrell
Photo by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home