Crispy Polenta Cakes with Wild Mushrooms Ragout
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup coarse polenta
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound mixed fresh wild mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups all-purpose flour for dusting the polenta
- 1 cup olive oil, for frying
Bring 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly add the cornmeal in a shower, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Change to a wooden spoon and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the spoon stands in the polenta, 15 to 25 minutes.
Add the Parmigiano and 2 tablespoons of the butter and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Immediately spread the polenta in a buttered 9-by 9-inch pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and refrigerate. Combine the parsley and garlic and chop together until very fine.
In a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter with the extra-virgin olive oil over high heat. Add the wild mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and the mushrooms and liquid has evaporated, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and set aside. Add the chicken stock, cream, garlic, and parsley to the pan and simmer to reduce by half, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Score the polenta into 3 by 4 1/2- inch squares. Halve each square diagonally to make 2 triangles. Remove from the pan and toss the polenta triangles carefully in flour to dust them lightly. Heat 1/2-inch of olive oil in a tiny piece of polenta turns golden on contact, 375 degrees F. Add a few of the polenta triangles and cook, turning occasionally, until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
To serve, place 2 hot polenta triangles on each plate. Warm the mushroom ragout and spoon over the polenta. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy Joanne Weir
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse