I have never made homemade Polenta before. I had tried the store bought, that comes in a round tube. Can't say I thought too much of it. But homemade? Delicious. I am having so much fun with the cook book Emeril At The Grill, his picture looked so good, I thought I would give it a try. No comparison to the store bought. This was soooo good. Now I did not get the beautiful grill marks that Emeril did, nevertheless, this was amazing. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside...to die for! I did make some changes to his original recipe, which can be found on page 46. I used soy milk instead of whole milk, and used freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese instead of Mascarpone. This recipe was a lovely accompaniment to Emeril's Best Baked Beans, we also had BBQ Pork Loin Chops, and a garden salad. Polenta is a nice change from potatoes, rice, or pasta, if you have never made it, give it a try!
1 1/4 cups soy milk
1 1/4 cups water
2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 Tblsp. butter
(Emeril suggested cooking the polenta for 20 minutes, but mine was thick and done in about 5 minutes, not sure why, but it worked.)
He also recommends a very clean grill, that has generously been oiled with olive oil.
Using a 9x13 inch baking pan, lay down parchment paper, that has been generously greased with butter - butter side up. Cut another piece to fit on top, generously grease with butter and set aside.
Using a large sauce pan, combine the milk, water, salt and pepper and bring to a good simmer. Slowly pour in the cornmeal, whisking the entire time, and turning the heat to a low simmer. Keep whisking until the polenta reaches a nice thick consistency - about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese - mixing well, adding salt and pepper to taste. Then pour the polenta onto the greased parchment paper, smoothing out with a spatula to get an even shape. Place the other greased piece of parchment paper over top of the polenta, pressing down to cover. Refrigerate 4-6 hours.
Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Trim the polenta, and cut into even sized squares, rectangles, or triangle shape. With a clean grill, generously oil the grates. Brush the tops of polenta with olive oil, placing the oiled side onto the grate. Then brush the tops of the polenta with more oil. After 3 minutes, rotate the polenta to achieve nice grill marks. Cook for another 3 minutes. Turn the polenta over to grill the other side, same process. Serve hot, with more grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Served with any meat or vegetarian dish...lovely.