Thursday, November 15, 2018

How to Battle the Bland Turkey Blues!

Let's face it, turkey isn't the most flavorful of meats! So, I like to serve it with homemade "Cranberry Chutney with Orange and Ginger." This ruby red cranberry sauce is flavored with fresh orange juice and grated ginger, which brightens the tartness of the cranberries, makes a perfect accompaniment to any holiday turkey. Not only is this lovely chutney super simple to make, you can make it a few days ahead of time, always a bonus when planning a Thanksgiving meal. So, skip the gelatinous sauce from a can, and serve this instead! Your guests will thank you!

Cranberry Chutney with Orange and Ginger

Makes 3 cups


3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon peeled, minced or grated, fresh ginger (I use my microplane.)
1, 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
Squeeze of fresh lemon, to taste


In a medium saucepan, add the orange juice, sugar, salt, and ginger. Bring to a boil and dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pan. (This prevents spatters as the cranberries begin to pop open!) Simmer until the sauce has thickened and all the berries have popped, about 5 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon and refrigerate until ready to use. (This sauce looks particularly lovely when served in a clear crystal or glass serving dish!)

There's No Place Like Rome! There's No Place Like Rome!

This recipe is not named after Dorothy's dog, but rather a trattoria in the center of Rome. This is a great pasta recipe to have up your sleeve, especially around the holidays. I find that when preparing for a full blown holiday meal (e.g., Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.), I often overlook the fact that I need to feed my company the night before. What to do? Nothing is easier than pasta, right? Only one problem: the men in my family find pasta dishes unsubstantial. The solution: add Italian sausage! Don't let the ingredients fool you. They may seem simple, but the result is divine! This recipe is easily doubled, to suit your needs, and served with a big green salad, wine, and crusty bread, and the result is a surprisingly quick, satisfying and elegant meal.

*Because it is a cream sauce, you need to serve it right away! Also, don't skip the addition of the fennel seeds!

Rigatoni alla Toto

Serves 4


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (if necessary)
1 cup dry white wine
6-8 whole fresh basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/8 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, or ground fennel (but freshly crushed is better)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt
1 pound rigatoni
1/2 cup freshly grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving (this dish really needs real Parmigiano-Reggiano)


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sausage and red pepper (if using) and brown on all sides, breaking up the sausage as you stir. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the basil, crushed fennel, and cream and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked through.

While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni in the boiling water until al dente. Drain well and add to the sauce and toss. Add the 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss well. Serve immediately with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on top. 

Adapted from Rome, at Home, by Suzanne Dunaway.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fall for Cashmere Potatoes

The first frost of the season is predicted for tomorrow. Brr! Fall is officially here. It's time to resuscitate my beloved cashmere sweaters that have been whimpering in my closet all summer long. Hooray! In honor of the occasion, I want to share a wonderful recipe for "Roasted Rosemary Potatoes" from the king of Italian cashmere, Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli headquarters in Solomeo, Italy.

Cucinelli began his luxury brand in 1978, which now consists of the finest Mongolian cashmere, silk, suede, and shearling. His headquarters are located in a completely restored medieval hilltop villa in Solomeo, Italy. Complete with a castle, church, piazza, and amphitheater, it also contains what can only be described as the world's most historic and, of course, luxurious cafeteria. The cafeteria is decked out with crest-bearing china, bottles of local wine, and Cucinelli's own olive oil. However, the food is not created by world-famous chefs, rather three Umbrian women who make everything from scratch and traditional, like these potatoes. 

This recipe caught my eye because the potatoes are parcooked in vinegar water, which sets the starches prior to baking. They are then tossed with garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt, pepper, and white wine. The result is a more refined and elegant dish that has become a favorite in my household. I make them whenever I roast pork, and always with Arista (Tuscan Roast Pork Loin). While the Cucinelli brand is far beyond my means (Thank God for JCrew), I can always make this luxurious recipe and dream.

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes (aka., Cashmere Potatoes)

Serves 8

1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
3 pounds waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold; about 5), peeled, cut into 3/4" wedges
4 garlic cloves, smashed
6 small sprigs of rosemary
1/4 cup dry white wine (*Cooking Tip: You can always use shelf-stable Vermouth, which I always have tucked away in my kitchen.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring vinegar, 1/4 cup salt, and 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add potatoes and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; drain.

Transfer potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with garlic, rosemary, wine, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast potatoes, tossing occasionally, until completely tender and just beginning to brown, 35-45 minutes. 

Recipe from the June 2013 Bon Appetit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


If you are not aware, I am crazy about mushrooms! I love their earthy flavor, tender flesh, and down right adorable appearance! I eagerly make any recipe with mushrooms as the star ingredient! I am such a fungi-fanatic that my kitchen is nicknamed "Mushroom's Cafe!" I am aware that there are a lot of people who claim they don't like mushrooms; however, I have changed a lot of minds by serving them Beef Bourguignon

Another absolutely stellar recipe featuring mushrooms, comes from The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook, by Patrick O'Connell. (If you missed my previous post regarding this magical place, please refer to Dreaming in Dalmation.) This recipe for "Fettuccine with Morel Mushrooms and Country Ham" exemplifies the rich indulgences offered at The Inn at Little Washington. Unfortunately, morel mushrooms are not available now, so I used Shiitake (stems discarded), but any fresh wild mushrooms will produce excellent results! One more thing, NEVER wash your mushrooms! Clean them with a soft brush or gently wipe them off with paper towels.

Fettuccine with Morel Mushrooms and Country Ham

Serves 4


1 teaspoon salt
9 ounces fresh fettuccine (or 5 ounces dried)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup fresh morel mushrooms (or another wild variety)
1/2 teaspoon minced shallot
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (I used white pepper)
1 cup very thin slices well-trimmed country ham, cut into ribbons the same width as the fettuccine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (Don't skip the chives, they are essential!)


Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil and add the 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook the fettuccine until just barely al dente. Drain in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Keep warm.

In a 10" saute pan, melt the butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add the morels just as the butter begins to color. Saute rapidly until the mushrooms begin to crisp around the edges. Add the shallot and garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat.

In a 4-quart saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Reduce the heat and add half of the sauteed mushrooms/shallot/garlic mixture. Reserve the other half for garnish. Cook until the cream thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Add the fettuccine to the sauce and toss well to combine.

To serve: Using tongs, place a mound of fettuccine in each of four warm serving bowls and pour a bit of the remaining sauce over the noodles. Place the reserved mushrooms on top of the fettuccine and divide the ham evenly among the bowls. Garnish with the chives. You'll love it!

Recipe adapted from The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook, by Patrick O'Connell.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Life's a Peach!

I was browsing a bookstore recently and saw Judith Jones' book The Pleasures of Cooking for One.  I don't know why, but it made me feel sorry for her.  If you're as lucky as I am, you should appreciate the fact that you can cook for people you love.  You're lucky to have them! Why don't you make them this Texas classic, Texas Hill-Country Peach Cobbler. It is so easy, so creamy, so crusty, and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream - Divine! My kids love to watch it cook in the oven, you'll see why! This is the last recipe in my trilogy of favorite recipes that are easy, most requested, and travel well.  If you're going to a Labor Day cookout, why not bring this?  If you missed the other two recipes, check them out: Salsa Mexicana and Corn Souffle.

Texas Hill-Country Peach Cobbler

Serves 6


3/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar (separated into 1 cup plus 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (melted)
3 cups fresh sliced peaches
9x13 baking dish (this makes a thinner cobbler with lots of crusty bits - this is what I use) or an 8x8x2 (this makes a thicker cobbler with less crusty bits)
Vanilla ice cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour the melted butter in the dish.  Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, 1 cup of sugar, and milk together and pour into the pan.  Do not stir!  Lay the peaches evenly over the batter.  Top evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar.  Bake for an hour. Bonus: Your house will smell great!

The Non-Souffle "Souffle"

This is part 2 of my favorite recipes that are easy to make, the most requested, and very easy to transport, perhaps to a Labor Day barbecue.  This recipe is for a delicious Corn Souffle, which technically isn't a souffle because the egg whites are not whipped separately and then folded in.  The dish does slightly "puff up", so thus the name? All you do is combine the ingredients, bake it for an hour or so, and it's done! It's so versatile that I make it at Thanksgiving, Christmas, with Barbecue, and Mexican food. It really goes great with anything. Last Thanksgiving I didn't make it because I thought my family might be sick of it; however, I regretted it when everyone was horrified not to see it on the table!  It's a side that everyone loves!  Keep checking my blog for the last recipe!  Hint: It's a Texas classic!  If you missed the first recipe, check it out: Salsa Mexicana.

Corn Souffle

Serves 6-8


1 stick of butter, melted
1 can of creamed corn
2 cans of regular corn, drained
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 box, 8.5 oz "Jiffy" corn muffin mix


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together all the ingredients.  Pour into an 11 cup, 2.6 L, or 8x9x3 baking dish and bake for an hour or so, until the center is set. Yum! 

**For a spicier version, add 2 thawed "cubes" of Green Chile Sauce!

The Pullman Strike?

The Pullman Strike, led by the American Railway Union, began in Pullman, Illinois in 1894 over reductions in wages. It quickly spread across the country and disrupted railway traffic and the delivery of the U.S. Mail. The strike was broken up by U.S. Marshals and roughly 12,000 United States Army Troops killing 13 strikers and injuring 57. Six days later, President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a federal holiday to try and reconcile with the labor unions.

Today, most people associate Labor Day as the symbolic end of summer weekend.  It may be one of the last barbecues of the season.  So, if you're having a barbecue or going to one, this week I'm going to share 3 of my favorite recipes, that I make over and over because they are easy to make, the most requested, and very easy to transport.  I'm going to start with an appetizer or condiment, specifically, Salsa Mexicana from Mark Miller, aka. Godfather of Southwestern Cuisine. If you haven't made your own salsas before, this is a great way to start.  It tastes really fresh, summery, and you control the heat. Keep checking my blog for the other 2 dishes. Hint: one's a versatile side dish and the other is a classic Texas dessert! 

Salsa Mexicana:


2 tablespoons or so, diced white onion
8 Roma (plum) tomatoes (about 1 pound), diced, seeds and all
2 serrano chiles, finely diced, with seeds for HOT, some seeds for MEDIUM (I like it this way), or without for MILD (my kids like it this way)
2 tablespoons or so, fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (don't use the junk in the bottle)

Place the onion is a strainer, rinse with hot water, and drain.  Thoroughly combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add a little more sugar if the tomatoes are acidic, but make sure the salsa does not taste of sugar. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to combine. 

This is great with chips, guacamole, tacos, or grilled meats. Makes about 2 cups.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Mission: El Metate Pork Chile Verde

(Picture nicked from skootersmexicanfoodblog. Thanks, Skooter!)
Although I haven't personally been to the Mission district in San Francisco (yet), I have heard a lot about the legendary burritos which are synonymous with the area. There is a constant debate as to which restaurant serves the best, but according to Chef Joanne Weir, El Metate is one of her favorites! El Metate, located at 2406 Bryant Street, opened it's doors in 2002. Interestingly enough, Joanne Weir's book, Weir Cooking in the City, published in 2004, makes a reference to El Metate and even offers a recipe for "Pork and Tomatillo Burritos." Could this recipe be El Metate's iconic pork chile verde? I'm not sure, but it is amazingly delicious!

This recipe is packed with fresh ingredients and produces a sweet, tangy chile verde that is quite addictive. I have adjusted the recipe by using freshly roasted tomatillos rather than canned ones, but I will include measurements for both, just in case fresh tomatillos are not available to you. This recipe requires browning the pork first, which can make for a greasy mess, so plan for that. In addition, from start to finish, it should take approximately 4 hours. So plan for that as well. And finally, I've never seen such colorful ingredients cook down to produce a very ugly looking mess. Perhaps that's why they stuff  it into a burrito? Either way, it is a personal favorite and I highly recommend you try it!

Pork and Tomatillo Burritos (El Metate?)

Serves 6 (You can also serve it as a soft taco filling.)

For the Chile Verde:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2-3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 large green bell peppers, chopped (I hate green bell peppers! I think they are too bitter. I use 1 red bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper instead, chopped.)
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 cups canned tomatillos, seeded and chopped (I prefer 1 pound fresh tomatillos, papery skins removed, washed, and roasted under the broiler until slightly blackened, cut in half. I don't bother seeding them.)
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup water

For Serving:
6 large flour tortillas
6 lime wedges 
1/2 cup sour cream
1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Fiery Green Salsa (recipe follows) (I prefer Rick Bayless's Roasted Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa, preferably home-made, or store bought.)

*Note: Rice and Beans are natural accompaniments

For the Chile Verde:
Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the pork cubes.

Add the pork in a single layer and brown on all sides, 10-12 minutes per batch. Do not overcrowd the pan. Remove the pork from the pan with a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cumin and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatillos, cilantro, and water.

Return the pork to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the pork is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove the cover and simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. (In my experience, it takes way longer than 10 minutes!)

For Serving:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Wrap the tortillas tightly in aluminum foil. Heat them in the oven for 15 minutes until hot. One at a time, place one-sixth of the hot filling in the enter of each warm tortillas. Roll the tortillas to enclose the filling.

Place the burritos on a platter and garnish with the lime wedges. Pass with individual bowls of sour cream, avocado, scallions, and salsa alongside.

Fiery Green Salsa

Makes 2 1/2 cups

2 cups tomatillos, chopped (fresh or canned)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup minced red onion
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

If you are using fresh tomatillos, peel and wash them. Place them directly over the gas flame, on a charcoal grill, or in a heavy dry skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until blackened all over, 5-8 minutes. (I would just set them on a baking sheet under the broiler until blackened.) Chop the fresh or canned tomatillos.

In a bowl, stir together the tomatillos, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, and serrano. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipes adapted from Weir Cooking in the City, by Joanne Weir.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

No Pinquitos? No Problem!

Continuing my "Santa Maria Style BBQ Menu," perfect for Memorial Day weekend, the classic accompaniment to a Santa Maria Grilled Tri-Tip, besides french bread, salsa, macaroni and cheese, green salad, and a strawberry dessert, is pinquito beans. Pinquito beans are very small pink beans that thrive in the fertile soil of the Santa Maria valley. In fact, it's the only place that pinquitos are grown commercially. Unfortunately, I don't have any.

So no pinquitos? No problem! I think everyone is able to locate some humble pinto beans. This recipe for "Pinto Bean Salad" is a zesty variation of the classic accompaniments of pinquitos and salsa, all in one! It has all the flavors I love, onion, cilantro, chiles, tomatoes, and lime! Although it isn't traditional, it's fresh, fast, and downright delicious! 

Pinto Bean Salad

Serves 4-6


1, 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (not the  junk in a bottle!)
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper sauce, or other hot sauce, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a serving bowl, combine the ingredients and mix well. Told you it was fast!

Serve warmed or at room temperature.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Add some Pep to your Cinco de Mayo!

It's no secret that I LOVE Mexican cuisine. However, this Cinco de Mayo will have a Texas twist with these Peppa Marinated Flank Steak Tacos! This is the easiest and tastiest recipe ever! When looking for your flank steaks, they should be thin, and sometimes if you're lucky, you can find them run through a cubing machine which makes the meat more tender. Also, these tacos have such wonderful flavor that salsa is not necessary, although I do drizzle a little of my beloved Cholula over the top!

Peppa Marinated Flank Steak Tacos

Serves 6-8


2 flank steaks, totaling about 2 1/2 pounds

For the Peppa Marinade:
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup hot sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced

For serving the tacos:
Corn or flour tortillas
Chopped white onion and cilantro, mixed together in a small bowl
Your favorite hot sauce


Place the steaks in a nonreactive pan. Combine the marinade ingredients and pour over the steaks. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight, or at least three hours before cooking. Turn the steaks occasionally during the marinating.

Remove the steaks from the marinade, reserving the liquid in a small saucepan.

Grill the meat uncovered over hot, ashen-gray coals for 4 minutes a side, or until the steaks are done to your taste. Let the meat rest 10 minutes before slicing it thin, across the grain.

"Uncubed" flank steak
"Cubed"flank steak

Heat the tortillas on the grill and wrap in a towel or tortillero to keep warm. Meanwhile, bring the marinade liquid to a boil, allowing it to reduce by about a third, a matter of just a few minutes.

To assemble the tacos, place some of the sliced meat on a tortilla, spoon over a little of the reduced peppa sauce, top with some of the onion/cilantro mixture and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Texas Home Cooking, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Slainte, To Your Health!


How do I say this.....traditional Irish food is....not my favorite. I spent last weekend making all traditional recipes of corned beef, buttered cabbage, champ, and brown bread from Darina Allen, of the famous Ballymaloe House hotel and cooking school in County Cork, Ireland. I even bought Irish butter, which isn't cheap in the US! After all, I needed to provide you a perfect menu for St. Patrick's Day. I was so disappointed, and I won't relay what my husband had to say. Sorry Darina, I was sure it would be awesome, but it wasn't. So, I will refer to my fabulous Irish-Inspired Menu from a previous post. No wonder my Irish friend begs me to make it! You'll love it! I PROMISE!


Have a great holiday and remember to drink responsibly!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Rocky New Year and the Ultimate Comfort Food

I've had a rough start to the New Year. Needless to say, a new furnace, water heater, tires, and two birthday cakes (New York Cheesecake and Harry's First Birthday Cake) later, I am need of some serious comfort food! Nothing could be more comforting than "Beef Short Ribs with Bacon and Herb Sauce" served over my "Cheater's Polenta!" Beefy short ribs lovingly braised with bacon, onion, herbs, and a serious dose of Sherry make for a hearty American-style classic that is quite easy to put together. Although mashed potatoes make an appropriate side, I prefer cheesy polenta that takes mere minutes to put together. In addition, you can change the cheese to suit your mood, e.g., Parmesan (which I prefer with these short ribs), cotija, cheddar, etc. Serve with a simple salad, bread, and a bottle of red wine for a fabulous, cozy meal that is equally suitable for lucky company. 

Beef Short Ribs with Bacon and Herb Sauce

Serves 4

4 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (aka., lardons)
3 1/2 pounds beef short ribs
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry sherry
3 cups beef stock
2 teaspoons tomato paste
6 fresh thyme sprigs (I tie them together so it's easier to remove before serving.)
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Put the bacon in a large dutch oven or flameproof casserole dish and cook over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pot.

Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the short ribs in batches and sear on all sides. Remove the ribs and set aside with the bacon. Add the onion and celery to the pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are tender, approximately 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and flour to the pot and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the sherry, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the stock, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the reserved bacon and ribs to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 2 1/2-3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Using tongs, remove the ribs and cut the meat from the bone and cartilage. Skim any excess fat from the top of the braising liquid. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Return the ribs to the pot and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve with the sauce spooned over the short ribs.

Recipe adapted from The Book of Steak, by Love Food.

Cheater's Polenta

Serves 4

1 cup white cornmeal (I use Quaker cornmeal for baking and breading.)
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (can substitute other cheese, as desired)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine the stock and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan (I use a 2-quart saucepan) and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the cornmeal in a fine stream. Whisk constantly and bring to a simmer. (Don't stop whisking or you could get spattered with bubbling cornmeal! Ouch!) Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until thickened, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, cream, and cheese until combined. Season to taste with pepper. Serve immediately!