Spicy Polenta Cakes
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking polenta, medium- or coarse-grain
- 1 cup crumbled queso blanco cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey, for serving
- 1 lime, halved
Combine the milk, salt and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking constantly, until the polenta tightens and there are no lumps, about 4 minutes. Stir in the queso blanco, butter, cilantro, pepper and jalapeno. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Generously butter a 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Pour the polenta into the pan and set aside to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, until firm.
Preheat a griddle pan over medium heat. Invert the polenta onto a clean cutting board and slice it into nine 3-inch squares. Brush the squares on both sides with the olive oil, then griddle them until golden brown and warmed through, about 3 minutes per side. While warm, drizzle the polenta cakes with the honey and squeeze lime juice over the top. Serve.