My Dad passed away nine years ago today. It was unequivocally the saddest and most trying day of my life. My Dad was the strongest, bravest, and proudest man I have ever known. So when he became ill, I refused to believe he would not pull through. When he passed it was very difficult for me to believe he was really gone. It's been nearly a decade since he passed, and I still can't believe it...
This morning I decided I would make a dinner in honour of him. A few posts ago I described a polenta my Dad used to make. Like I said before, if I had to choose a last supper, this would be it. It's polenta mixed with bacon and feta cheese. Sometimes Dad would add onion and parmesan to the mix. That is how I made it tonight. It was delicious. And just like my Dad used to make. I think if he were to taste it, he'd be proud.
Tomislav's polenta with bacon and feta cheese
1 1/2 cups coarse ground corn meal
1/2 lb slab bacon
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
2 handfuls of crumbled feta
1 handful of grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Heat a 10" cast iron skillet over medium heat. While skillet and oven heat, cut bacon into small cubes and finely chop onion. Add bacon to skillet and stir occasionally.
While bacon cooks pour 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth into a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add polenta and remaining water and broth to a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
When the chicken broth and water comes to a boil, add the onion to the skillet and lower heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally. Then slowly add the polenta mixture to the pot and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes. When bacon is caramelized and onion is translucent, strain fat and set aside.
Remove pot from heat. Add bacon mixture to polenta, stirring until combined. Pour half of this mixture into the skillet. Sprinkle with a handful of feta cheese. Pour remaining polenta bacon mixture into skillet. Top with remaining feta cheese and parmesan. Pour heavy cream over top (optional).
Bake in oven for 40 - 45 minutes, until polenta is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 - 15 minutes before serving.