Moldovan polenta cakes with cheese and dill
■ 2 1/4 cups (560 ml) whole milk ■ 4 tbsp (60 ml) butter
■ 1 1/4 cup (310 ml) coarse polenta
■ 4 eggs
■ 1 1/4 cups (310 ml) fresh ricotta ■ 7 oz (200 g) feta, crumbled
■ 1 cup (250 ml) plain yogurt
■ 1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour
■ 1 bunch of dill, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
■ 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
■ Sour cream, to serve
1. Bring milk to a boil in a pan over medium heat. Add the butter and polenta. Stir continuously for a few minutes until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, separate the eggs and place the yolks and whites into separate bowls. Mix the yolks with the ricotta, feta, yogurt, flour and dill, then add this mixture to the lukewarm polenta along with the baking powder. Stir to combine well.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C) and grease an 11-by-9 inch (28-by-23 cm) baking pan.
4. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the polenta mixture.
5. Pour into the pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Do not remove the polenta from the oven — turn it off and don’t open the door for 20 minutes. Turn the polenta out onto a chopping board, slice and serve warm with sour cream and dill, as an appetizer or lunch.
Savoury polenta cakes are often served to mark special occasions in Romania.