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Polenta with Port-Poached Quince and Blue Cheese

Yield 7 servings (serving size: 2 topped polenta rounds)
This elegant appetizer will impress your guests, and it's easy to make. Prepare the quince topping and brown the polenta slices up to two days ahead. Just before serving, warm the assembled hors d'oeuvres under the broiler.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup tawny port
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 cup chopped cored peeled quince (about 1 medium quince)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (16-ounce) tube of polenta, cut into 14 (1/2-inch) slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 146
  • caloriesfromfat 11 %
  • fat 1.8 g
  • satfat 1.1 g
  • monofat 0.5 g
  • polyfat 0.1 g
  • protein 2.6 g
  • carbohydrate 25 g
  • fiber 1.5 g
  • cholesterol 5 mg
  • iron 0.7 mg
  • sodium 201 mg
  • calcium 38 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add quince; reduce heat to medium-low (mixture will just barely simmer), and cook 45 minutes or until quince is tender. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Strain quince mixture through a sieve into a bowl, reserving quince and liquid; discard rosemary. Return liquid to pan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 10 minutes or until reduced to about 1/4 cup; keep warm.

  2. Preheat broiler.

  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange polenta slices in pan in a single layer; sprinkle with pepper. Cook for 8 minutes or until lightly browned; turn and cook an additional 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Place polenta rounds on a baking sheet. Top each round with 1 tablespoon quince and about 1 teaspoon cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Place rounds on a platter; drizzle evenly with the reduced poaching liquid. Serve warm.