makes 6-8 servings
2 cups yellow corn meal
8 cups water
1/2 lb butter, room temperature
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
4 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. cracked black pepper
Place water in a suitable pot and whisk in corn meal. Bring slowly to
a boil, whisking regularly as it thickens. Lower heat to a simmer,
continuing to whisk until polenta is very thick (about 20 minutes).
Add rosemary, salt and pepper, along with butter and cheese, and stir
until blended. Pour mixture onto an 18X13″ cookie sheet lined with
wax paper or parchment paper. Smooth the top.
Refrigerate until set and very firm. Meanwhile prepare mushrooms.
6 cups asst. chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 tsp. chopped garlic
1 large ripe beefsteak tomato, peeled, deseeded and chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp. fresh basil
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp. butter
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a sauté pan and add the onion and garlic, cook
until softened about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and wine, and cook
until mushrooms give off most of their juices and are almost dry. Add
tomatoes, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes,
stirring to blend. Set aside.
Turn the polenta onto a sheet of parchment and then turn over again
so dry, crusty side is on top. Cut into uniform squares. In a large
skillet, heat olive oil until almost smoking. Carefully place polenta
squares into the pan with the top side in the hot oil.
With a spatula, check the bottoms to see if they are nicely browned.
When they are, remove from pan and turn over so that the crisp,
browned side is on top.
When all the squares have been browned (or as many as you need), top
with warm mushrooms and serve with additional Parmesan cheese.