Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crispy polenta cakes with garlicky mushrooms

In an effort to go meatless a couple of times a week, Mr. Snowgoose and I have been trying new recipes. Last night I felt ambitious and made these polenta cakes. Now, I've experimented with them before, though never Mark Bittaman's way. A few years ago I had polenta jenga sticks at a Boston-area vegetarian restaraunt and loved them.

Most of the time when I make polenta (from scratch), we just eat it in it's soupy form. The other week I tried to make cakes and it was a disaster. Last night, not so much.

This recipe came from Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook


1 cup course cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups water
1 pound mushrooms
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic


1. Cook cornmeal according to directions (ie whisk the cornmeal into the water and milk until it is lump free and thick)

2. Grease a baking sheet with oil. Pour hot polenta onto the sheet and spread with spatula so it is about 1/2 inch thick. brush the top with oil, cover, and refridgerate it for a minimum of two hours.

3. Heat oven to 375. Grease a new baking sheet and cut polenta into 12 squares or shapes. Put cakes on baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes (outside will be toasted while the inside is soft).

4. Meanwhile cook mushrooms and garlic in oil. Add thyme if you'd like. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and then add wine and let it bubble for a few minutes until the wine has cooked off.

5. Serve a spoonful of mushrooms on each cake.

Cook's Notes

1. I added some parm cheese to the polenta in the pot since we like it cheesy. I also served it with roasted brussels sprouts with a basalmic glaze.

2. Mr. Snowgoose enjoyed it.

3. Since it is so time consuming, I'd advise to make a larger batch because it will get eaten immediately. We'll make this again.

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