Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Polenta with Fresh Corn and Mascarpone Cheese

I carry a big purse.  It's not giant, but it is pretty sizable.  I'm not sure I could ever go back to the tiny purses I used to carry even if that becomes the fashion again.  Once you go big, you can't go back.  Where else would I keep my iPhone, Blackberry, huge wallet, millions of receipts, Softlips, DSLR (occasionally), and my moleskin food notebook.  What?  You don't have a moleskin notebook you use to record the best and most inspiring meals you eat?

I don't write in it often, but after a particularly good meal or inspiring dessert, I will write down everything I can remember about the dish.  For our anniversary we headed up to Flour + Water in San Francisco (our absolute favorite at the moment) and had the best meal we've ever had there.  I was particularly blown away by the pork served atop corn polenta studded with fresh corn.

While I may not be able to recreate the perfection of the pork, I was able to recreate the polenta that John and I have had twice since.  I had never made polenta before, and who knew how incredibly easy and simple it is?  I suppose for the creamiest polenta, you add more water and cook (and stir!) for longer, but I have been too lazy and impatient both times, and have just cooked the polenta for 5 minutes.  Tastes perfect in my book!  The corn kernels are the first to hop in the boiling water, where they cook for a minute or two before stirring in the polenta.  Mascarpone cheese, salt, and pepper are all that's needed to finish the dish right before serving.

While I can't say that carrying around a bunch of receipts has ever helped me much, I can say that my little moleskin has proven it is worthy of a spot in my big ole purse by inspiring this great recipe.

Polenta with Fresh Corn and Mascarpone Cheese
Adapted from Bon Apetit via Epicurious

3 cups water
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal, I used Bob's Red Mill polenta)
Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
Kernels from 4 ears of fresh corn
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (I found it at Trader Joe's)

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  When boiling, add in kernels sliced off of 4 ears of corn.  Let the corn cook for 1-2 minutes, then poor in polenta and a bit of kosher salt.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes.  Mix in 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese and salt and pepper to taste.


  1. I LOVE Flour + Water. Once we went there and I think the hostess mistakenly thought my husband was a food critic. We got four free dishes just because "the chef thought we should try them." So strange but soooooo yummy!

  2. after spending the weekend w/ Charm and Pete, I'm surprised she doesn't have one of the moleskin notebooks, too. She remembers the first meal John and I served for them in about 1975. Fellow-foodie for sure...and we've booked them here for the whole week next Sept. and worked on our menus!


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