Cool the polenta until it is room temperature. Cover the polenta with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until the polenta is cold and very firm. With a cookie cutter, cut the polenta into hearts or other desired shapes. Cook polenta over medium heat in a nonstick skillet until golden brown on both sides and warm in the center. Serve the polenta hearts warm or at room temperature.
Recipe ©Sally James Mathis
Photography ©Taylor Mathis
Here is more on the picture Taylor took.
Above is a set shot and the final image of the heart-shaped polenta. When Sally and I were talking about the concept of what to get your Valentine who prefers savory to sweet, we knew that we wanted some kind of heart-shaped final dish. After tossing around a couple of ideas we turned to polenta. Polenta’s ability to be molded and cut into any shape made it the perfect food to work with.
For the styling and propping of the photo, I wanted to convey the Valentine’s Day theme, but in a slightly more masculine way. I played off of the fact that polenta is cooked in a pan, and chose a bold red and white cloth background with a small cast iron pan. The cast iron pan was the perfect size for my heart-shaped cookie cutter.
I backlit the shot with artificial lighting and filled in the shadows with a white reflector. If you want to learn more about how I took the shot, you can see the techniques I used in photographing FOOD.