I really wanted to taste the goat cheese in this recipe and neither Tim or I could find it. Perhaps, I should have used a bigger pan, made a smaller batch or used more goat cheese. I love the idea of this recipe and will try again, with a smaller batch, more goat cheese and a little heavier on the spices. Also, the original recipe says not to use quick cooking polenta. I did and it worked just fine. Anyone know how to prevent polenta from bubbling all over your hands and the stove when you make it?
Herbed Goat Cheese Polenta Bites
Makes 16 Bites1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for pan
1 3/4 cups water, plus more if necessary
1 cup milk
3/4 cup stone-ground coarse cornmeal (not quick-cooking or instant)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Generous pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup soft goat cheese
2 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Butter an 8x8-inch pan and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring water and milk to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in the cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Cook uncovered until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking or clumping. If it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, add more water, 2 teaspoons at a time.
Once the polenta is very thick and creamy, fold in goat cheese, 1 tablespoon of the chives, and thyme. Stir a few times until the goat cheese has melted into the polenta. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Scoop the hot polenta into the prepared baking dish, and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until firm, for at least one hour or overnight. Slice into 16 small squares. Spread the panko and remaining 1 tablespoon chives on a large plate and press each side of the polenta squares gently into the panko to coat completely.
In a nonstick pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pan-fry the polenta squares for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and crispy. As the polenta soaks up some of the oil, you’ll likely need to add 1 additional tablespoon to keep it from sticking. Once finished cooking, set on top of a paper towel-covered plate to soak up excess oil, and plate immediately. Serve warm.