Soft White Polenta and Three Cheeses with Heirloom Roasted Tomatoes
It was just a forgone conclusion that I was going to make this Soft White Polenta with Three Cheeses and roasted heirloom Tomatoes for February.
Why? Don’t make me say it….. because I had to cook it before the bugs got to it. There I said it out loud.
I seem to have a few of the pesky creatures escaping from packets here and there. They are Italian ones there is no doubt they came from the organic, stone ground, un-heat treated buckwheat flour I haven’t managed to finish. They all headed straight for the pasta packets in the other cupboard, after escaping from the buckwheat because……they so love pasta, Italians do you know even Italian moths. For sure.
This white polenta is very fine and perfect for cakes and also this soft and cheesy side dish. Oh my gosh we ate the soft cheesy polenta as a side with steak, fish and chicken, kind of like a potato or pasta substitute. It was so good. I say we because Skater ate it too!. Win
Oh look at this exciting bit of goods. This was a birthday present and made by hand by Ollie a friend of mine. Ras -El -Hanout translates to ‘top or head of the shop’ and originated in North Africa and used particularly Moroccan cuisine. It is a mix that can contain from 10 to even 100 herbs and spices, varying in both quantity and type depending on the maker. Recipes for this spice mix are guarded secrets between spice shops and blending of the spices is considered to be an art. It is used in marinades, as a rub, and as a seasoning in stews. It is decidedly good mixed into butter or sour cream or tossed with popcorn or toasted nuts and chickpeas. I am so lucky…..
This is pretty violette mustard was a gift from my sister who brought it back from France. It’s a specialty of Brive or Brive-Le-Gaillarde. It’s The base of the mustard is reduced grape must a boiled down red grape juice- similar to the base for Saba / balsamic. This is then is blended with mustard making a spicy but very fruity mustard with sour and sweet back notes. It is very interesting. I ate it with a Tuna Steak. Perfect.
And then I have these two jars that look like an exciting prospect. They are from Maureen( AKA orgasmic chef) she gave them to me when I saw her at New Year. I am looking forward to trying the jam. In fact I am trying to stop the thought of whipping up a batch of scones to eat the jam with. A disaster because I can’t resist scones and I will eat the lot.
Which brings me back to my new favourite side dish Soft White Polenta with Three Cheeses and roasted heirloom tomatoes. I made it in a spring form tin, but it is much batter to make it in a nice casserole dish you can pop into the oven and then onto the table.
- Oven 180 F/ 360 F
- 250 gm ( 1 cup / 8oz) fine white polenta
- 1½ litres ( 50.5 fl oz/ approx 6 cups) of water
- 100 gm of cheese (cheddar or parmesan)
- 50 gm of butter
- 1 ear of sweet corn husked
- 2 cups of heirloom tomatoes Coloured green, yellow, orange, baby romas and cherries etc
- 50 gm cheddar cheese
- 50 gm mozzarella
- 4 Tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup of basil leaves
- 2 Tablespoons of chives chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put the water into a large pot and bring up to the boil. Once boiling turn down and rain in the polenta then whisk to combine. Turn onto low and whisk regularly.
- Continue to cook until the polenta is thick and white like mashed potatoes ( 20-30 minutes on low). Add the 50 gm butter and the 50 gm of cheese and 1 teaspoons of salt ( or to taste) and fresh black pepper. Whisk in.
- Pour into a casserole dish and refrigerate till set. Once cold dig out the centre of the polenta and mix it in a bowl with the corn kernels, cheddar and mozzarella then return to the centre of the dish flattening down.
- Cover with tomatoes, chives, basil and parmesan. This can be made to here, and put back in the refrigerator till later if desired.
- Put the polenta in to the oven on 180 C and bake till the cheese is melted and the tomatoes starting to scorch. This will take about 30 minutes,
- Serve with barbecued or pan fried meats, schnitzels, braised dishes and stews and fish. pass extra balsamic, olive oil and chilli.
If you want to add all the cheese at once while it is cooking, Then go ahead. Just add it all at the end with the corn kernels and stir till combined.
Poor the polenta into a casserole, top with tomatoes and cheese and bake straight away if you like.
In My Kitchen is a way to keep up with all things food by peaking into kitchens all around the globe via this monthly link up. If you want to see some of the other kitchens or maybe post a link yourself, please visit: Maureen. www.orgasmicchef.com