Ham and Cheese, Please

Here’s another recipe from The South American Table.
The introductory paragraph said that it was from a resort in Uruguay called Punta del Este. One of these days we plan to visit a restaurant by that name that is on Calle 127 here in Bogota.  Last week we walked by, but weren’t too sure our jeans were appropriate for the cloths and crystal goblets that were on the tables.  For now, we’ll be content relaxing at "home" satisfied with the "fruit" of our own labor.
 
* I changed a few of the ingredients because of what I had on hand.
 

Polenta Rellena con Jamon y Queso

POLENTA WITH HAM AND CHEESE FILLING

Serves 4 to 6

SOFRITO

2 T canola oil

1/2 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, roasted & minced

2 medium-size ripe but firm tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1/4 t salt

1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

pinch of sugar

POLENTA

1 ½ c milk or water

1 ½ c water

1 t salt

½ t white pepper

1 c cornmeal

6 ounces thinly sliced ham

6 ounces dobla crema cheese, thinly sliced

1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese

½ cup whipping cream

 

 

Saute the sofrito ingredients in a skillet over low-medium heat to make a tomato sauce. Set aside.

 

 

In a heavy sauce pan, bring the milk, water, salt & pepper to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Pour the cornmeal into the liquid in a steady stream while stirring constantly with a whisk. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for about 7 minutes. It should pull away fromteh side of the pan when it is finished.

Butter a 9-inch square baking dish. Spread half of the polenta on the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the sofrito on the polenta. Layer half of the ham and dobla crema cheese on top. Spread the remaining polenta on the cheese. Repeat the sofrito, ham and dobla crema cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan. Drizzle the whipping cream around the edges.

Refrigerate until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 375*F.

Bake the polenta for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool 10 minutes before serving.

 
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