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Great breakfast fare for company. Or serve as a side dish on the Holidays. From Fine Cooking magazine.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for the pan)
- 3 cups whole milk
- kosher salt
- 2⁄3 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1⁄2 lb good quality cooked ham, chopped
- 4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- 2 ounces asiago cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 dashes hot pepper sauce
- fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 6 cup oval baking dish.
- Bring milk and 1/2 teaspoons salt to simmer in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the polenta. Continue whisking until thick, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12" skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and soft, about 15 minutes. Add the ham and stir often until warmed through, about 3 minutes,.
- Stir the ham mixture, cheeses, egg yolks, basil, oregano, thyme, hot pepper sauce, 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoons pepper into the polenta and mix well.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the polenta and then spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into pieces and dot on top.
- Bake until brown and puffed, 30-35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving with a large spoon.