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Photograph © Derek Richmond 2009

polenta_ka5480So Autumn is almost here.

As the colours of the landscape begin to change and the smell in the air starts to get musty, my food wants to get richer in flavour and heartier in substance.  Goodness knows how long the winter will last and whether the world will freeze over and I’ll be left standing on an iceberg wishing I’d eaten that last piece of polenta.(recipe)

You can buy ready made polenta at the store but it’s an unsurprising, shiny, slippery, sausage of a package that has absolutely no character and really, quite honestly, it’s just so much more satisfying to make it from scratch.  It also happens to be rather good exercise.  Much like making gougére, one has to vigourously stir the pot otherwise you’re left with a lumpy mass.  Once cooked I like to spread it in a shallow baking dish, dot it with butter and season liberally.  It is essential for me at this point to add lots of cheese, preferably gooey stinky cheese or sharp hard cheese.  Put it in the oven and watch the cheese metamorphose.

If you make too much for dinner, save it for breakfast, fry in butter and serve with a runny egg and some hearty sausages.  That’ll be sure to keep you going during the ice storm.