Polenta alla Contadina
Note -- Jeff does not use exact measuring cup-type measurements. He cooks more by feel, tossing in a handful of this and a pinch of that … and the result is fabulous. I’ve tried to use measurements here, for our readers, but if you wish to taste the recipe exactly as he cooks it, it is really best to take a night on the town and dine at La Finestra!
1 cup polenta (enriched cornmeal)
3 cups water
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon crumbled “sweet” gorgonzola cheese
(gorgonzola aged approximately 3 months)
Pinch salt and pepper
Heat water to boiling, add cream and gorgonzola cheese. Slowly add polenta, stirring or whisking all the while. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often. When very thick, turn into greased dish, such as a bread pan, until set. Chill until ready to use. Then slice into ¾ inch slices, approximately 3 inches square. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to use.
Wild Mushroom Sauce
1-2 tablespoons oil
(7/8 canola oil, and 1/8 olive oil)
3 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced (combination of fresh shitake and
oyster mushrooms and a little bit of dried porcini)
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
¼-1/3 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
½ -3/4 cup heavy cream (this is a guess … adjust as you see fit for your family!)
Preheat a frying pan to very hot. Add oil, then garlic and mushrooms. Cook until
mushrooms begin to brown, stirring or tossing occasionally. Add sun dried tomatoes,
heat and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add parsley and cream.
Cook until just until slightly thickened.
Spoon over grilled polenta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.