This is a tribute to my favourite Iron Chef episode, Battle Parmigiano Reggiano – the “undisputed King of Cheeses” as Chef Mario Batali puts it. This episode contained some of the greatest recipes I’ve ever seen. I kinda feel bad for Alton Brown. He probably has the worst job in the world. Not only does he have to make sure he’s spitting out correct information the entire episode, he has to smell all the delicious creations… and then he can’t eat them. Worst… tease… ever.

In any case, here’s my tribute. They made this dish in the battle I mentioned above, probably the only dish I’d come close to recreating with any sort of success.

Ingredients

6 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

½ cup Corn Meal, plus more for breading

2 cups Water

2 tbsp Crème Fraiche

2 tbsp Pesto

2 tbsp Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 Egg

1 tbsp Milk

1 tbsp Salt

Directions

1. First we’re going to make our polenta. Really easy stuff. Bring your 2 cups of water to a boil with your salt and slowly stir in your corn meal. Continue to stir with a whisk until it has thickened.

2. Once it has thickened, take it off the heat and continue to stir with a wooden spoon until its very paste like.

3. Pour the paste into a small container such that it fills up a couple inches high. I used a small aluminum container. You can use whatever you want! Trust me, it won’t stick.

4. Whack your container into your fridge or freezer to let the polenta solidify.

5. While your polenta is doing its thing in the fridge, let’s make our filling. It’s really difficult, though

6. Mix together your crème fraiche, your pesto and your parmigiano reggiano. Hard right?

7. Once your polenta is nice and firm, plop it over onto your cutting board. See, I told you it didn’t stick.

8. Cut your polenta into six mini-cakes.

9. Cut your mini cakes in half.

10. With a spoon, scoop out a well in each of the half-cakes. Fill the bottom half wells with your pesto mixture.

11. Close

12. Wrap in bacon. I wrapped them around the top and bottom because my polenta cakes weren’t thick enough. I recommend wrapping them around the perimeter of the cakes, though. It will aid in our frying later.

13. Dip each one of the mini-stuffed-sandwich-thingies into some egg that has been beaten with your tablespoon of milk, then coat in some extra cornmeal.

14. Deep-fry these bad boys until they are nice and golden brown and the bacon is cooked. It is going to take a few minutes. Here is the reason why I wanted you to wrap the bacon around the perimeter. If you do it the way I did, the bacon might burn if you’re using a pan to fry these things. If you have a deep fryer… it really doesn’t matter.

15. Plate with a little bit of tomato sauce and you can thank me later.