Monday, October 17, 2011

Polenta with Poached Quince

Polenta, though called different things, seems to be ubiquitous. There are variations from the Southern United States where it's called grits to Brazil where it's known as angu. In Zimbabwe they call it phaletshe, pap in Namibia. And all through the Caribbean there are variations - pastelle in Trinidad and Tobago, funchi in Curacao and Aruba, and mayi moulin in Haiti. Whatever you call it, it's cooked cornmeal. And it's so versatile: make it sweet, make it savory. Make it smooth, make it thick and cut it into cakes.

This morning Riley wanted it "just in a lump...with eggs over-medium, please." I wanted mine a little bit sweet, so I skipped the eggs and topped the polenta with cinnamon-poached quince.

6 C water
2 t salt
1 3/4 C yellow cornmeal
3 T butter

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the butter, and stir until melted.

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