Polenta is not one that you see popping up on many Menus, and it’s probably not on the weekly shopping list for most people in this country, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be!
It’s an affordable alternative to potatoes or pasta, and this Cornmeal can be whipped up into a creamy consistency or set and sliced. Polenta fries is one of my ultimate favourites!
Seasoning is a must when cooking Polenta as it can tend to be a little bland, but if you are cutting down on the salt then simply add lots of beautiful fresh Herbs.
The option of using Wild Mushrooms isn’t compulsory, and ordinary Mushrooms will work just as well. You can also use half Wine and half Brandy and use Cream Cheese instead of Crème Fraiche for a richer and creamier version.
Either way, it’s a delicious combination of textures and flavours, and is perfect if you are looking to try out something new for a meatless meal!
Herbed Polenta Cake
150g dried Polenta
900ml Vegetable Stock
80g Parmesan (Grated)
1 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp each Chopped Rosemary/Parsley/Chives
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
Bring the stock to a boil and slowly pour in the polenta, whisking well as you do so.
After about two minutes the mixture will have thickened, add the rest of the ingredients and mix through.
Allow to cool and transfer to a lined high sided baking tray. Cover and allow to cool and set completely (3-4 hours but best overnight)
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.
Cut the Polenta into squares or fingers and fry for about 3 minutes on each side.
Alternatively for a healthier option, you can sprinkle some olive oil over the polenta and oven bake at 180’C for 15-20 minutes.
500g Wild Mushrooms (or ordinary ones are just fine)
1 Shallot (diced)
1 clove of Garlic (minced)
100ml White Wine
1 tbsp Crème Fraiche
1 tsp chopped fresh Tarragon/Parsley
Few handfuls of Rocket
Slice and clean the Mushrooms. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the butter.
Fry the shallot and garlic for 2 minutes then add the Mushrooms.
Cook for 10 minutes until the mushrooms soften then add the Wine.
Reduce the wine down until almost absorbed then add the herbs and Crème Fraiche.
Stir well and season, and enjoy over the Polenta cake with a Rocket dressing.