Columbus Day Food

Three-cheese polenta gratin alla Genovese


  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups quick-cooking polenta or fine cornmeal
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 8x12-inch ovenproof baked casserole or 10-inch oval gratin baking dish


  • Preheat oven on broil setting.
  • Bring water, olive oil, and milk to a boil in 4-quart sauce pan. Add polenta in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a whisk. Lower temperature and cook while stirring until polenta is broad as porridge, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in ricotta equally through polenta then fold in mozzarella and fontina, cheeses will begin to melt. Flavor with salt and pepper.
  • Butter an 8x12-inch casserole or gratin dish equally. Pour boiling polenta into casserole and extend evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese evenly transversely top of polenta. Put in oven on broiler set on center rack and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until peak of polenta is golden brown. Take away from oven, set to the side for 5 to 7 minutes and then serve up. Letting polenta respite will let cheese to melt evenly in casserole, which also needs to chill down because of it being so hot.

Warm chocolate risotto pudding with dates and orange zest


  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup arborio rice
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chopped dates


  • Combine deep cream, cocoa powder, whole milk, arborio rice and orange zest. Bring to a boil, then lessen heat to a simmer, cover and heat for 20 minutes.
  • Whisk collectively egg yolks, vanilla, whole eggs, sugar and cinnamon. Temper boiling liquid into egg blend.
  • Add chocolate and whip until melted totally.
  • Add 1 cup heavy cream, decant into casserole dish, add dates and cook in the oven in a water bath at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes.

Roasted Whole Branzino


For The Fish

  • 1 whole fish, scaled, gutted (approximately 3 pounds)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 whole lemons
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

For The Potatoes

  • 2 cups peeled Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch quarters
  • 1/2 pint assorted cherry tomatoes, washed and left whole
  • 1 cup fresh baby artichokes, cleaned and trimmed or 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 3 fresh or dried bay leafs
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • To get ready the Branzino: Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Matter the fish hollow space with rosemary, thyme, oregano, pieces of fresh garlic and lemon wedges. Lightly achieve the outer flesh of the fish and sprinkle with olive oil, dust with salt and pepper.
  • To arrange the potatoes: In a large bowl, mix potatoes, tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, basil and cove leaves. Season by means of salt and pepper.
  • To assemble and cook: In a large oven proof casserole, layer potato blend equally across base of casserole. Place entire fish on bed of potatoes, decant white wine evenly over the fish and potatoes. Sprinkle with additional virgin olive oil and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until fish is finished.

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