Polenta is an easy-to-please Italian staple. It makes up a perfect appetizer or side dish. Many people may be unfamiliar with the dish known as polenta. It is similar to the Southern dish, grits. Polenta, a Northern and Central Italian dish, made from coarsely ground yellow corn, has always been popular for its simplicity and versatility. It may be served as a hot porridge or it may be allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf then cut and baked, fried, or grilled. I really love polenta. And what do I love even more than polenta? Prepared polenta. Those convenient organic tubes of high-quality polenta are readily available at most supermarkets and they are such a time saver. I first saw these amazing tubes of polenta at Trader Joe's and couldn't wait to try them. Of course the only way to prepared these is to slice and bake or fry, creating a crostini-like appetizer. Serving Polenta as “cakes” makes them crispy on the top and bottom and dense and creamy in the center. A delicious way to enjoy polenta. My favorite topping for the polenta cakes is this creamy mushroom sauce. It's a perfect combination of rich and creamy mushrooms on a bed of crispy fluffy polenta cakes. It's quick to make and quick to disappear!
1 pound mushrooms, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, squeezed or finely minced
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 18-ounce organic tube of prepared polenta, Trader Joe's Organic Polenta
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Open polenta tube and slice into 12 circles or “cakes.”
In a baking tray, place oil and dip both sides of each polenta cake to coat and line in tray.
Place in oven and let cook for about 45 minutes or until it begins to look golden in color.
Meanwhile, in a pan, place diced mushrooms and saute till they begin to wilt.
Squeeze in or add finely minced garlic and saute for 2 minutes more.
Add the salt, black pepper, and heavy whipping cream. Mix well and bring to a boil until the cream begins to thicken, mixing constantly so it doesn't stick.
Remove from heat.
Once the polenta is cooked, remove from oven and place on serving dish. Pour the mushroom cream over each slice and serve immediately.