Polenta with Port Poached Quince and Blue Cheese

An elegant appetizer or first course

Time:  About an hour, can be prepared in advance    
Yield: 7 appetizer servings, 2 pcs ea.

1 cup apple juice or cider
1 cup tawny port
1/4 cup sugar
1 rosemary sprig (or 1 tsp dried in a cheesecloth bag)
1 cup chopped, cored, peeled quince (about 1)
Cooking spray
1 tube polenta cut into 14 (1/2") slices
Fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 1 1/2 oz.)

Bring first four ingredients to a boil. Add quince and lower heat to a bare simmer. Cook about 45 minutes or until quince is tender.  Strain mixture reserving both solids and liquids (remove rosemary.) Return liquid to pan and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Keep warm. or store both components for up to 2 days in refrigerator.

Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray.  Arrange polenta slices (you may need to do this in two batches) in pan and spray top sides.  Sprinkle liberally with pepper.  Cook about 8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Flip and cook additional 8 minutes until lightly brown on both sides.  You may store these for up to 2 days.

Final assembly: divide quince solids between the polenta rounds.  Top with blue cheese.  Put under broiler just until cheese melts.  Drizzle with reserved syrup and serve warm.

Adapted from Cooking Light