Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Parmesan Polenta with Rosemary Mushroom Sauce

I've been wanting to recreate this appetizer from Bar Toto, my favorite restaurant in Brooklyn. It's been quite a while so I'm not sure if it's similar but it was just as delicious as I remembered.

Cook polenta according to package instructions (mine indicated a polenta to liquid ratio of 1:3) and pimp as necessary. Here's how I did it:
  • 3/4 c. polenta
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. vegetable stock
  • 1/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 t. fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
Saute garlic and thyme in olive oil until garlic is slightly browned. In a seperate pot, bring water, milk, and stock (or any combination of liquid you prefer) to a boil, add polenta and remove from heat. Whisk constantly until smooth. Add in olive oil mixture, cheese, and s&p. Immediately pour into a 9x9 inch glass plan, allow to cool and refrigerate until set. When ready to serve, cut into slices for serving. Coat a pan with cooking spray and cook polenta over medium heat, about 5 minutes on each side.

Rosemary Mushroom Sauce

I stumbled upon a box full of humble white mushrooms at my neighborhood verduleria and aspired to turn them into something spectacular. And so I did...
  • 250 g. (1/2 lb) mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-2 T. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1/2 c. vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp. cornstarch dissolved into 2 T. water
  • salt & pepper to taste
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until softened, 7-10 minutes. Add mushrooms and rosemary, stir every few minutes but allow these to slightly brown (add a touch of olive oil if needed), about 7 minutes.

Add wine, stock, and s&p, simmer on low. After about 10 minutes, the sauce will reduce some, add cornstarch if desired. Allow most of the liquid to cook out. Serve on top of polenta slices.