Sunday, January 20, 2008

Baked Polenta with Parmesan (Page 265)

  • Date: Monday, January 14, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

Once I started making polenta recipes from The Book a couple weeks ago, I remembered how much I love polenta and I made all the polenta recipes from The Book (I have no self control!). This was the last one, and the best of the bunch. It was also fantastically simple. You make polenta on the stove, then cool it in a baking pan. Then you cover with parmesan, broil, and serve. Yum! The cheese got deliciously crusty on top and the polenta was warm and creamy underneath. The browned cheese also gave the dish a burst of flavor, but yet it was neutral enough that you could serve it with a variety of other dishes or sauces. The only negative to this recipe was that the layer of cheese tended to separate from the polenta when you tried to eat it. You could just peel the crusty cheese off. This was only a minor distraction from the tastiness of the dish. If you are looking for a very simple, very tasty preparation for polenta, I recommend this one.

This recipe isn't online.

Matty and I just finished eating a big dinner from The Book. I have done quite a bit of cooking already this month. This is my third January of the project, and each of the previous two years January has been one of the most productive months of the year in terms of recipes completed. I wonder why that is... Perhaps increased motivation at the start of a new year? Or the cold weather motivates me to stay inside and cook? Probably the explanation is just that until this year I was always on break in January. Of course I was still working on my research, but at MIT in January there are no classes or seminars, which frees up a lot of time. That explanation doesn't apply this year -- our term started January 7th. But I am teaching Tuesday-Thursday this term rather than Monday-Wednesday-Friday, so that makes for a more relaxed schedule. Also, I haven't been traveling this month, which is quite different from last semester! Whatever the reason, I have been doing a lot of cooking lately. More than that, I have found a renewed energy and enthusiasm for my project. I spent a lot of last semester cooking just for myself, and I grew a bit tired of it. In the last couple months though I have had the opportunity to cook for, and with, many different friends. Speaking of cooking with friends, I have already scheduled two trips to Boston this semester, and they are of a reasonable length (no more of the crazy 36 hour trips!)! So finally I will be able to cook again with some of my favorite cooking companions! That will certainly help me keep up the good pace I have developed in the last couple months.


ana rita said...

Do I get to cook too?

Teena said...

Of course! I am counting on it!

ana rita said...

I remember with nostalgia the days of blowdrying walnuts in your bathroow...

Teena said...

I had almost forgotten about the walnuts and the blowdryer. I'll be sure to look for other recipes where a blowdryer might be useful and reserve them for you!