I have a dear friend who can wax poetic on the subject. She can sing a song to polenta like no one else I know. What ever I write will pale in comparison to her beautiful prose, but I will certainly give it a try.
If you have never had a bowl of creamy polenta, you are in for a treat. If you are southern, prepare a picture in your mind of grits. Now move way eastward toward Italy. There you are. Add a more "corny" taste and a slight different texture. But for simplicity sake within this post, picture grits.
Preparing this smooth offering is an zen experience in itself. Bringing the water to a boil is a lesson in patience. Slowly adding the golden grain while stirring is hypnotizing. Watching the minuscule bubbles, controlling the heat, and bringing it to its creamy perfection brings about a meditative state.
It is perfect. You love the texture and it has reached the exact thickness for your palate. Now the fun begins! What would you like to add to it? If it is thick enough, you can grill it. Eat it with a touch of salt. Possibly some pure maple syrup. Or make it a savory side dish by sprinkling it with sharp gorgonzola with just a dot of that pasta sauce hiding in your freezer.
Whatever you do, Just Do It (with apologizes to Nike)
Ok my friend, I hope I did justice to your true love, polenta!
Creamy Polenta with Gorgonzola (Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
6 cups water
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter3 ounces mild Gorgonzola, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Additional salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Add 1 3/4 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, you can switch to a wooden spoon for easier stirring.
Turn off the heat. Add the butter and Gorgonzola and stir until the cheese melts. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the polenta to a bowl and serve.