The City Magazine Since 1975

Polenta Concia

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4 Tbs. unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

5 cups water

1½ Tbs. kosher salt

2 cups fine yellow cornmeal, Anson Mills Antebellum brand preferred

Olive oil

6 oz. thinly sliced, high quality Muenster cheese

5 oz. heavy cream



Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook the garlic until it is golden brown. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Set aside.

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the salt and reduce the heat to medium. Whisking continuously, slowly pour in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook the cornmeal for about 45 minutes, or until it’s very thick. Use a wooden spoon to fold it over onto itself every five to seven minutes. A medium-brown crust will form on the bottom of the pot because the cornmeal is cooking a long time. It’s an indication that you are doing it right.

Brush a nine-inch by nine-inch baking dish with olive oil. Dump half of the cornmeal in and spread it out evenly. Layer the sliced cheese on top. Spread the remaining half of the cornmeal over it.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot. Gently reheat the garlic butter over the lowest heat.

Using the handle of a spoon, make holes through the polenta all the way to the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the garlic butter sauce over the polenta, then pour on the hot cream. Serve immediately.

To make up to three days ahead, layer the cooked polenta and the cheese in the baking dish, cover, and refrigerate. Before serving, heat them in a warm oven until hot. Make the holes in the polenta, heat the garlic butter and cream, and pour them on. Serve immediately.