SOFT POLENTA WITH GORGONZOLA (for four to six)
6 cups water (or, you could use low-salt chicken stock or a combination of stock and water)
1-½ cups medium cornmeal, preferably stone-ground (available at Italian markets, natural food stores and some supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute regular yellow cornmeal)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into large chunks
½ cup heavy cream
ground black pepper
about 6 ounces (one cup, crumbled) Gorgonzola dolce or other mild, creamy blue cheese such as Saga Blue. Do not use an aged Gorgonzola for this dish — it will be too salty, crumbly and pungent
1. Bring the water to a rolling boil in a heavy-bottomed 4 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Add 1-½ teaspoons salt, and pour the cornmeal into the water in a very slow stream from a measuring cup, all the while whisking in a circular motion to prevent lumps.
2. Cover and cook, vigorously stirring the polenta with a wooden spoon for about 10 seconds once every 5 minutes and making sure to scrape the bottom and the corners of the pot, until the polenta has lost its raw cornmeal taste and becomes soft and smooth, about 30 minutes. Stir in the butter and cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Stir in the Gorgonzola cheese and serve immediately.