About 6 months ago my friend Melissa and I bought a Groupon type of coupon for a cooking class. Life got busy and we hadn’t gotten around to signing up for a class. At the beginning of October we were like, “We have got to sign up for a class before the coupon expires.” Melissa checked the website and the next class was risotto, polenta, a white wine pasta dish and tiramisu. Could there be a more perfect menu for me? Seriously, it was meant to be.
We didn’t really know what to expect of the class, but it was definitely beyond our expectations! The classes take place at Dave’s Specialty Foods in Mt. Prospect. It is a super cute shop that sells meats, cheeses, sandwiches and other hot foods. They also do A LOT of catering. There were about 18 people in our class and we had the best time! The food was amazing. The class was just over a month ago and I have already made this polenta 3 times. And I know Melissa has made it too. We even convinced Melissa’s husband to host a surprise party for her at the shop. And even our husbands enjoyed the class and talking with the chef/owner Dave. If you are local I highly recommend taking one of Dave’s classes.
I really, really loved this polenta. It is super easy to make but looks really nice. You can make it in a loaf pan and slice it or if you are hosting a dinner party you can make it in small ramekins, microwave it just before serving, flip it over, and you have an easy, fancy looking appetizer. Polenta tends to get hard after it is cooked. I made it for my lunches and once it was microwaved it was soft and creamy again. I have made it with marinara sauce (as Dave suggests) and sundried tomato pesto. I actually like it better with the marinara sauce. But either way, I think this would be a big hit for any dinner party. Melissa’s 8 month old Jack loved it too!
½ onion finely diced
1 Quart milk
1 cup corn meal
¼ cup grated asiago cheese
salt and pepper
¼ cup basil pesto
¼ cup sundried tomato pesto or marinara sauce
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions for a few minutes. Add the milk, season with salt and pepper. Slowly add the cornmeal while continuously whisking. Once all the cornmeal has been added let the polenta cook for 10 minutes. Do not stir. The cornmeal should be dissolved by now. Remove from heat and add the asiago cheese and salt and pepper. Stir. Spray a loaf pan or individual ramekins with Pam. Fill half of the loaf pan with the polenta. Spread the basil pesto and the sundried tomato pesto(or marinara) over the polenta. Do not spread all the way to the edges. Leave about ½ an inch all the way around. Add the remaining polenta. Spread it evenly over the pesto layer. Flip the whole thing over onto a cutting board. The terrine should release easily. Slice and serve.
Source: Dave’s Specialty Foods