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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Polenta Cakes with Wild Mushrooms

Today feels like it should be Monday, not Tuesday. I cared for my 2 ½ year old nephew all day yesterday and while it was a blast, I wasn’t able to get all my “normal” activities done. Instead he and I had an adult/kid play date with childhood friend of mine and her son, walked around Midtown Global Market and eyed all the colorful merchandise, hiked through the snow, and played with my 2 ½ year old niece and her 1 ½ year old cousin. The kid had a great time and was pretty tired out when I returned him to his mom at the end of the day. I was pretty exhausted too and couldn’t manage a blog post after all that activity.

Now I am fully rested and excited to share another easy meal with you. This dish involves polenta and a whole lot of mushrooms. While you can certainly make polenta from scratch, using polenta from a tube is so much easier. It is typically found in the Italian section of the grocery store.

This dish took less than 30 minutes and was full of flavor from the garlic and rosemary.  I love how mushrooms absorb the flavor of what they are cooked with.  Serve alongside a green salad for a main meal or on its own as an appetizer.

Polenta Cakes with Wild Mushrooms
(adapted from Katie Lee’s The Comfort Table)

For Polenta:
1 tube polenta, plain
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Mushrooms:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 cups mixed wild mushrooms (I used oyster, cremini, & shiitake)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp dry white wine
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp heavy cream

Preheat a grill pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Slice polenta into ½-inch circles, brush both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on griddle and cook approximately 5 minutes per side or until grill marks appear.

For mushroom mixture, melt the butter, garlic and rosemary in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, or until all liquid is released and mushrooms are golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and add white wine, cook until evaporated. Add lemon juice and heavy cream. Cook for 2 more minutes until cream is absorbed. Remove rosemary.

Place polenta cakes on a platter and top with mushroom mixture. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.


  1. Mmmm...I love mushrooms! Now if I could just get my husband (thankfully also a fungi lover)on the polenta bandwagon. Maybe over wild rice...

  2. I have always wanted to try polenta like that! So pretty!

  3. Although I prefer creamy polenta, I'm with you on the tubes being a great time saver. perfect with the earthiness of the mushrooms!

  4. Heck yeah, Polenta Cakes with Wild Mushrooms! I will be making you soon!

    Thanks for a fun playdate. :)

  5. Amber Gehring1/20/2010 1:46 PM

    What is Polenta?

  6. pass me a glass of Barbera.... this looks great.

  7. Yum that looks good! I love Mushrooms! What a cute kid:)

  8. Sounds like a fun, but exhausting day.

    I love mushrooms so much and yours look so tasty!


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