savory polenta cupcakes
Not exactly my idea of a cupcake, but I admit I just adapted the name of the original recipe. Ever since I learned how easy the perfect polenta can be, polenta recipes are more tempting than ever. Inspired by a Food and Wine recipe for individual lasagna cakes, I thought polenta might be a nice substitute (spoiler alert: for once, I was right).
This is not a light dinner. This is a stick-to-your-ribs, baby-it’s-cold-outside, where-are-my-pj-pants, kind of recipe. Of course, serve a salad on the side and tell yourself that it all balances out in the end.
savory polenta cupcakes
inspired by and adapted from food and wine
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the ramekins
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 cups polenta
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup snipped chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 8 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
- 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely diced
- Freshly ground pepper
- Cook the polenta.
- Spread out cooked polenta in a thin layer (no more than an inch) over a baking sheet and allow to cool.
- Using a measuring cup that is slightly smaller than your ramekin, cut out your polenta layers.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Butter ramekins and coat with Parmigiano; tap out the excess. Place the ramekins on a sturdy rimmed baking sheet.
- In a large saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the milk and whisk over moderate heat until the sauce is bubbling and thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg, chives, parsley and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano. Let cool slightly, then stir in the Fontina and prosciutto. Season the filling with pepper.
- Arrange 1 polenta round in the bottom of each ramekin. Spoon filling into each ramekin and top with another polenta round; press to flatten slightly. Note: Number of layers you can fit will depend on how thin you were able to spread out your polenta. The thicken the polenta round, the fewer the layers.
- Top with the remaining filling and polenta round. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano and cover loosely with foil.
- Bake the cupcakes for about 15-20 minutes, until the filling is just bubbling.
- Remove the foil and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until slightly puffed and the tops and sides are golden. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Run a knife around each “cupcake” and invert onto plates, tapping firmly to release them. Serve with that feel-good green salad on the side.