Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Easy Winter Dinner

A very easy tasty dinner I make pretty regularly is Mushrooms over Polenta. It's filling, easy, can feed a lot or a little, and I ALWAYS make extra mushroom mixture to save in the fridge or freezer for fast and easy meals in the future. It is also popular with my kid, always a bonus.
Polenta Fries are a favorite of mine from the days I worked at Casablanca Restaurant. Sooo delicious and easy. Servers used to eat them during meal service (Shhh! Don't tell) by just dripping some hot sauce on them for a quick bite to help the grumbling hunger pains/pangs and get us to the end of shift.

The mushrooms I put over them are awesome to freeze/fridge for omelettes, over bread, meats, fillers for soups, pot pies, really so versatile and nice to have on hand.
Make a lot, freeze in small batches. You will thank me.

How to make this easy dinner that can serve an army or serve 2?

First polenta:
Go ahead and make this a day ahead, if you want
I use Bob's Red Mill polenta (please don't use the premade stuff, it just isn't the same)
Make polenta as directed, if it's just 2-4 of you make half the recommended directions.

After polenta is finished, pour into a 9x9 pan if made half, a 9x12 pan if you did the full directions. Smooth out and refrigerate, cover if doing over night, if same day wait till firm, 30-45 minutes.

Cut polenta into 1 inch by 3 inch rectangles and carefully place on a greased baking sheet. Bake on 400 degrees 10 minutes a side.

In the meantime make the mushrooms. Clean and slice 1 pint of mushrooms and chop 1 onion.
Put 2 Tbsp of olive oil, a quarter cup of water, and onions in a saute pan over low heat. Let them cook until opaque, slowly add more water if necessary to prevent browning. Add mushrooms and cook until browned and softened. (if saving some for later, remove 1/2 at this point) Add 1/4 cup of almond milk or cream (try the almond milk, it really adds a nice flavor) to pan and a large pinch of flour. Mix quickly so flour doesn't clump. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and let liquid reduce.

Once polenta fries are done, mushrooms will be reduced. Place 3-4 polenta fries per plate and spoon mushroom mixture over. Serve immediately.

Adult Plating Suggestion

Kid Plating Suggestion

Kid's Plate After Dinner!


1 comment:

  1. Ohhh that'll be one I try! I know I will love it! Thank you! :o)