Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grilled cheese and basil polenta

Grilled cheese and basil polenta

I never thought this would happen, but it did. Donna Hay disappointed me.

It was last Saturday – my Amazon box arrived and I couldn’t wait to go through my new cookbooks. Donna’s book looked so adorable and cute... I started to flip the pages, eager to choose the first recipe to prepare. Unfortunately, as I glanced at the photos there was only one thing going on in my mind – “I’ve already seen this. And this. And this one, too.”
Several of those recipes had been published in other Donna Hay’s books and magazines – the ones on my bookshelf. :(

I’m not interested in buying cookbooks with recipes I already own and I guess you aren’t either – that’s why I thought you should know about this. I have deleted the other “Simple Essentials” volumes from my wish list.

To remind me of how wonderful Donna’s recipes are, I prepared this polenta (from her magazine, issue 40). I’ll tell you, my friends: this is what I call reconciliation. :)

Grilled cheese and basil polenta

Grilled cheese and basil polenta
from Donna Hay magazine

3 cups (750ml) water
1 cup (170g) instant polenta
60g butter, chopped
½ cup (50g) finely grated parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup basil leaves
2 cups (200g) grated mozzarella*
olive oil, for brushing

Place water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir through the butter, parmesan, salt and pepper. Pour half of the polenta into a 20cm square pan lined with non-stick baking paper (I used foil) and spread to smooth. Top with the basil, mozzarella and remaining polenta. Refrigerate for 45 minutes or until set.
Cut into squares/rectangles and brush with oil. Heat a char-grill pan or barbecue over high heat. Cook the polenta for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden and the cheese has melted. Serve with pan-fried veal cutlets, grilled lamb or steak and baby spinach.

* I used the yellow mozzarella we have here, that seems to be really similar to Monterey Jack

Serves 2 - I think it can serve 4, depending on what you serve it with


Anonymous said...

How disappointing...good thing you mentioned it.
Love her recipes a lot, and this one looks very good!

LyB said...

It's such a let down when you're excited about getting a cookbook only to be disappointed. That grilled cheese polenta looks fabulous though, and wouldn't you know, I have a bag of instant polenta just waiting to be used! :)

Alexa said...

Oh, I hate when that happens... We have a great library system here-- So now what I do is order the book from the library and I only buy it if it meets my expectations. This polenta dish looks so wonderful. I am going to have to try it. It will be a hit with my kids for sure... :-)

Katie said...

Are you kidding me. This looks fantastic. Cheese and Polenta grilled like a sandwich. YUM!!!!!!!!!!

The Food Librarian said...

This looks so yummy! As always, great photos. You make me drool at work!

Deborah said...

Yeah, this looks delicious! I'm still salivating over the toasted cheese sandwich I made of hers weeks ago, and this one sounds even better!

Nic said...

Shame about the book, maybe you could do a swap with someone?
The grilled cheese looks v. good.

Helene said...

That looks and sounds out of this world! Great choice to redeem DH!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I too hate those books that repackage material from other books, with a different cover or book title. I bring them home, all excited -- and then the disappointment of finding I've seen the recipes and photos before. Oh well, the book will make a nice gift for someone, and you have this wonderful polenta to console you!

Anonymous said...

That's funny, I'm just reading the DH issue #40, I could purchase only today !
Your grilled cheese with polenta look so tasty !

pam said...

Patricia, thank you for posting this! I was curious about those books, but thought that they might be a republishing of recipes. This one from issue 40 looks delightful. I am having such a hard time finding her magazine here though! I missed issue 39 and my bookstore doesn't know when they'll get the next issue. It's so frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Oh my this sounds amazing, I mean wow! What a great idea to make grilled cheese.

Too bad about the cookbooks, that would upset me too.

Anonymous said...

that looks darling and it could be served at an English tea.

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

This looks killer, a polenta sandwich. Yummy!

Peabody said...

With polenta...what a great idea.

Unknown said...

that will keep me going enjoying it! lovely photos!

Manggy said...

Oh, sorry to hear about the book, Patricia :( Though nicisme has a great idea. Maybe someone will be willing to exchange it :) Meanwhile, that gooey cheese over the polenta is calling out my name! :D

Pille said...

Great-looking recipe! Very comforting!
PS I'd happily accept all your old DH magazines - I've only got 3, I think :)

Anonymous said...

Arrrgh I would be so peeved if I bought a cookbook only to find that I had the recipes already. Nevertheless your grilled polenta looks fantatsic. I had creamed polenta tonight and the night before and it seems like I can't get enough of it so I will definitely give your recipe a try :)

Suzana said...

Patrícia, I'm glad you posted about this book as I wondered if it was a republishing. I'm yet to get issue 39, so any preview on issue 40 makes me smile - more even if it includes my favourite polenta!

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant thing to do with Polenta. And since all the ingredients are in my cupboard at this moment...I will give this a try tonight. Yum!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Linda, I thought you all had the right to know.
Thank you, darling!

LyB, I had been waiting for that box for weeks... :(

Alexa, that system is amazing - too bad it doesn't happen here!
I do hope you try this polenta!

Katie, that's exactly what I thought when I saw the recipe on the mag! :)

Food Librarian, thank you, darling!

Deb, that sandwich is really to die for!

Nic, that is a fantastic idea! Thank you!

Helen, thank you, sweetie!

Lydia, isn't that a bummer? And I'm glad you like the polenta!

Vanille, isn't it wonderful?

Pam, I subscribed because her magazines are impossible to find here in Brazil!

Cathy, I'm glad you like it!

Michelle, thank you for stopping by!

Eating Club..., thank you!

Pea, I thought so, too. :)

Arfi, thank you so much for your comment - I'm such a fan of your photos!

Mark, I love Nic's idea, too!
Make some, my friend! :)

Pille, they are "my precious" *enters Gollum's voice here* ;)

Lorraine, I know - I'm a sucker for polenta, too!

Suzana, it's the second recipe I post from issue 40 - I know you'll love it, it's full of delicious ideas!

Christine, tks for visiting! I do hope you try it!

Ann said...

Oooo, this looks warm, inviting, comforting, cheesy - perfect on a cool night! YUM!

Sarah said...

Sorry about the cookbook, but this recipe is definitely a great make-up present. I can't wait to try this!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Now this is type of food I could live on!

Anonymous said...

Looks amazing. I'm going to make this next week with some roast chicken and greens. Yum!

Elle said...

Patricia, this is the kind of recipe that reminds me why Donna Hay is so popular. Simple and delicious, too. Thanks for posting it.

TBC said...

I've never cooked with polenta and this one just makes me want to try it now!

anna said...

Ooh, I bought some polenta (I think it's instant, it came in a big brick) recently and have no idea what to do with it, but I think I'm going to try this. It sounds incredible and fits into National Grilled Cheese month!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Patricia, Just popped in while updating a post I did a while back for National Grilled Cheese Month. (April is...)

I hope you don't mind but I grabbed this link to include in the resource section of the post. Thank you so much for sharing, your grilled cheese & basil polenta looks simply yummy!!! If you want to see the post, the link will be in my weekly foodie update late Sunday the 11th.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Dear Louise, of course I don't mind! I'm glad you liked the recipe - it's from a Donna Hay magazine.

Amanda said...

Yum! Have you submitted this to the Grilled Cheese Academy yet?

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