RECIPE TITLE " Creamy Fonduta over Fried Polenta - Fonduta alla Valdostana"
Rustico : Regional Italian Country Cooking
Copyright© 2002 by Micol
Makes 8 servings. ---
This is one of Val d'Aosta's defining dishes, shared with nearby
Piedmont. It is similar to French and Swiss fondue, but a few key
differences give it a distinct character. First and foremost is
the use of Fontina; second is that the Fontina is soaked in milk
for hours before it is melted, which gives it a silky texture; third
is the addition of egg yolks, beaten in at the end to ensure a velvety
mouthfeel; and finally, there is the preference for pouring the
fonduta over fried polenta, as below. Needless to say, you should
only use Fontina from Val d'Aosta here; it has a compact texture
with tiny holes and a nutty fragrance and can be identified by the
mark of its consortium, which is stamped on each wheel. If the urge
for truffles is there but the season has passed, drizzle the fonduta-topped
polenta with white truffle oil (see Sources, page 372, for fresh
truffles and truffle oil).
- 1/2 recipe Polenta (page 371)
- Extra-virgin olive oil for greasing the baking sheet
- 1 1/2 pounds Fontina from Val d'Aosta, rind removed, cut into
- 2 cups whole milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 extra-large egg yolks
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
- 1 white truffle (optional)
Make the polenta according to instructions on page 371. Pour it
while still hot onto an oiled 11 x 17-inch baking sheet, smooth with
a rubber spatula, and cool until set. Cut into 3-inch triangles and
Meanwhile, place the diced Fontina in a bowl and pour on the milk;
set aside at room temperature for 3 hours (or refrigerate for up
to 24 hours).
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a double boiler over medium
heat, then whisk in the Fontina and milk; cook until the Fontina
melts, about 10 minutes. Still whisking, beat in the egg yolks one
at a time; the mixture should never come to a boil or it might curdle.
After 3 minutes or so, the mixture will thicken. Beat in 2 tablespoons
of the butter and season with the pepper. Keep warm over the lowest
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, melt the remaining
4 tablespoons of butter until foaming. Add the reserved polenta
triangles in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp on both
sides, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Divide among 8 plates.
If you are using the truffle, pour the wine on a towel and rub
the truffle with it (this dislodges dirt and gives the truffle a
subtle aroma). Serve the polenta hot, topped with the fonduta, shaving
the truffle over it with a truffle slicer.
Preparation tips: The polenta can be cooked up to 2 days ahead,
cooled, cut, and refrigerated until you are ready to fry it.
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Who better to take fans on a culinary tour of Italy, than Lidia Matticchio Bastianich? Her new cookbook, Lidia's Italy (a companion to her new public television series of the same name) covers "ten places in Italy Lidia loves most": Istria, Trieste, Friuli, Padova and Treviso, Piemonte, Maremma, Rome, Naples, Sicily, and Puglia. In addition to 140 simple and delicious recipes, Lidia's Italy also offers a short introduction to each locale, featuring cultural treasures not to be missed (as defined by Lidia's daughter and coauthor, Tanya). For the cook as well as the armchair traveler, Lidia's Italy is a rich and satisfying gastronomic journey through Italy. --Daphne Durham
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Carmine’s Family-Style Cookbook’s perfect Italian recipes include:
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A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
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