I've written before about a United Way project that I do with a co-worker at Land O'Lakes. She has a 'cabin' on Big Island on Lake Minnetonka. We auction a happy hour as part of the United Way campaign. The winning bidders for our 2010 event paid the highest we've ever raised. Woo-hoo!
It's bitter cold outside, and hard to think about a balmy summer day sipping cocktails on a deck overlooking Lake Minnetonka and enjoying appetisers. But I tried my first new recipe for the group. Both components of the appetiser are from celebrity chefs on the Food Network. The grilled polenta is from Bobby Flay and the mushroom ragout is from Emeril Lagasse.
8 cups chicken stock or water
2 cups polenta
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Generously butter a large shallow baking dish and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Slowly pour in the polenta and the salt, whisking constantly with a wire whisk. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened and smooth, about 20 to 25 minutes. Fold in the corn, Parmesan, and parsley. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. With a sharp knife, cut the chilled polenta into squares. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides until golden brown. Arrange the polenta on a platter and spoon the mushroom ragout over. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
1/4 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced
8 medium-size shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wineHeat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and saute until the liquid is released and they are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and the garlic and saute until the onions soften, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully add the wine and cook until it reduces by 3/4. Check seasoning and serve over grilled polenta.