Three Cheese Polenta with Bacon and Cranberries
· 1 tray 3 cheese polenta (4 pucks)
· 10 to 12 strips thick-cut applewood smoked bacon
· 1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
· 3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
· Pinch kosher salt
· 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat frozen or thawed polenta pucks on a greased baking sheet. Brush or spray the top side of the polenta with oil. Bake polenta for 15- 20 minutes or until the polenta is heated through. Adjust baking time if polenta is thawed.
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until brown and crispy, 15 to 17 minutes. (you can bake polenta and bacon at the same time).
Drain bacon on paper towels. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
Whisk together the mascarpone cheese, maple syrup and salt in a small bowl until smooth.
Transfer the polenta to 4 bowls or serving plates. Dollop each serving with the mascarpone mixture and divide the bacon pieces and spoon on top along with dried cranberries.