2 cups corn meal (Beretta brand, if you can find it)
8 cups water
1 TBS kosher salt
6 TBS butter
1 1/2 cups of grated fontina cheese
1/2 cup thinly grated sharp Italian cheese (Locatelli, Pecorino, etc.)
20-30 sage leaves, cleaned and dried
6 TBS butter
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Bring 6 cups of water and 1 TBS kosher salt to a boil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Whisk the corn meal into the remaining 2 cups of water, then pour the water and corn meal mixture into the boiling water.
Turn the heat down to medium and stir continually for 10 minutes. The goal is to bring the polenta to a light bubbling boil. After 10 minutes have passed add your butter, then continue stirring for an additional 10 minutes. Mix in the Fontina cheese.
After it incorporates completely, remove from heat and let sit another 10 minutes. Pour the polenta into a 13x9 glass baking dish (or something similar) and let it sit until you're about 25 minutes from serving your meal.
The polenta can be cooked in advance and refrigerated if necessary. To finish, grate a thin layer of sharp Italian cheese over the top of the polenta and broil on high until it browns lightly (approx. 5 minutes, but watch closely). Let the polenta cool while you make your sauce.
To make the sauce, heat butter and sage leaves in a saucepan over a medium low flame. When the butter starts bubbling lightly, add the lemon juice. Salt to taste. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the butter turns a light brown. Pour the butter sage sauce over your polenta and serve warm.
We served the polenta with (buckle your seat belts) strip steaks marinated in an espresso-infused aged balsamic vinaigrette, and grilled Florida onions and asparagus. I know what you're thinking and yes...it was as good as it sounds. Happy Birthday to you, Pop! We love you!