Total Calories: 380
1. Combine the cornmeal, water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large, heavy saucepan and whisk until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 minutes, whisking steadily.
2. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and stir in the cream and, if desired, 2 tablespoons melted butter or oil. Simmer the polenta gently, uncovered, until the mixture thickens enough to pull away from the sides of the pan, 30 to 40 minutes. It should be the consistency of soft ice cream. You don’t need to whisk the polenta continuously, but you should keep a careful eye on it, giving it a stir every 5 minutes. As it thickens, you’ll need to switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste the polenta should be highly seasoned.
3. Pour the polenta into a nonstick jelly-roll pan or cake pan and even out the top with a spatula. The polenta should be about 1/2 inch thick. Let cool to room temperature, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or as long as 2 days.
4. Preheat the grill to high.
5. While the grill is heating, cut the cold polenta with a knife or cookie cutter into squares, rectangles, or fanciful shapes. (The pieces should be no more than 3 to 4 inches across.) Use a spatula to remove them from the pan to a large plate.
6. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Brush both sides of the polenta pieces with 2 tablespoons melted butter or oil. Arrange the polenta on the hot grate and cook, turning with a spatula, until sizzling hot and nicely browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
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