I know I wrote that I would be better at updating my blog. Unfortunately, my laptop got a virus and was down for a few weeks. Waah-waah! But I hope May will be my more successful month in an unsuccessful 2011. So a few weeks (months?) back, I invited a couple of friends over for lunch before we headed to the home show to see Sarah Richardson (I'm a big fan of all of Sarah's HGTV shows and her design style). I decided to attempt making fried polenta and served with mushrooms. It was easy and quite successful!
Fried Polenta and Mushrooms - Makes 8 triangles
Adapted from Honest Fare.
While I liked that the original recipe has mushrooms in the polenta, I wanted to serve a mushroom sauce over the polenta triangles.
For the polenta:
* ½ cup cornmeal
* 2 cups water
* salt to taste
* pepper to taste
* ¼ cup Parmesan
Bring 2 cups of water to an almost boil in a large pot.
Lower heat and slowly add ½ cup of polenta while stirring so it doesn’t clump (this is an important step and caused me to throw out my first batch because I felt there were lumps).
Stir until polenta is creamy and begins to thicken.
Add salt (start with a ¼ teaspoon and add more to taste) and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Continue cooking and stirring for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Line 9" x 9" pan with parchment paper.
Spread polenta evenly across using back of a spoon or spatula.
Cover with another sheet of parchment paper.
Flatten, smooth and form nice edges by gliding your hands across top of parchment paper. Put in fridge to cool for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
Once a solid polenta slab has formed, cut out the cakes into squares, triangles, circles or whatever shape desired.
Preparing the polenta.
For the mushrooms:
* 1 shallot, diced small (or ½ onion)
* 2 handfuls of your favourite mushrooms, sliced
* 2 thyme sprigs
* Marsala wine (optional)
* salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, heat up the oil on medium heat.
Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 1-2 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and thyme leaves.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add marsala wine if using.
Add a bit (or more to make it saucier) of cream.
Once the mushrooms are cooked, set aside.
Putting everything together:
Coat bottom of pan in olive oil and heat to medium high heat (it has to be high enough or it will stick).
Place a cake on the pan and DON’T move it.
Let it fry for 2-3 minutes per side untouched.
Flip and repeat.
Drain on paper towels.
Top with mushrooms.
Frying the polenta.
I would definitely make this recipe again and would consider making small dainty portions to serve as an appetizer. I still really like the idea of mushrooms in the polenta and would try that next time. While mushrooms is often served on polenta, so many other vegetables, such as asparagus could also be served on top.
A delicious vegetarian dish!
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