Polenta With Sauteed Swiss Chard And Raisins

This is my favorite 5 minute recipe for when I’m hungry and need comfort food. I make it a lot in the colder months when I get home late and want something delicious and fast.

Ingredients:

1 cup of 5 minute polenta
4 cups of water
1 Tbs of salt
2 Tbs of butter
1/4 cup light cream
1/4 cup of grated parmesan
1.5 lbs of Swiss chard, stemmed and sliced
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of golden raisins
additional parmesan for garnish

Polenta With ChardBring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. When boiling add the salt. Slowly pour in the polenta and stir. Keep stirring until it has softened and thickened. About 5 minutes. Add the butter, cream and parmesan and stir until blended. Cover and hold.

While the polenta is cooking prepare the greens.

Wash, stem and tear or slice the chard. Slice the onion and garlic. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion until it is soft. Add the chard and garlic and stir to coat with the oil. Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes until the greens are tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the golden raisins. Uncover and stir until most of the moisture has evaporated.

Spoon the polenta into 4 serving bowls. Top each with the sautéed greens.

Sprinkle with additional parmesan if desired.

Adapted from “The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook” by Jack Bishop

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Polenta Casserole With Mushroom Filling

May Recipe of the Month

When I make stuffed mushrooms for catering I often have extra stuffing. I had a lot left over one day and was looking for a way to use it up. I often cook polenta for myself for dinner with different toppings so thought this might make a great vegetarian main dish. I brought it to a meeting one night and everyone wanted the recipe, so here goes.

The stuffing for mushroom caps recipe has bread crumbs in it and I have omitted them for this version.

Ingredients:

MUSHROOM FILLING

2 lbs. assorted mushrooms: white, crimini, baby bella’s, sliced or chopped
2 shallots, minced
1/2 large Spanish onion, chopped
6 T. unsalted butter
1 small bunch Italian Parsley, chopped
2 stems of fresh Tarragon, chopped
.5 cup of white wine or Vermouth
.75 tsp nutmeg
2 T. heavy cream
2 oz. gruyere
1/2 cup parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Polenta CasseroleMelt the butter in a large frying pan. Sauté the shallot and onion until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until starting to loose their liquid. Add the parsley and tarragon with the wine. Cook down until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat. Stir in the nutmeg, cream and cheeses, salt and pepper. Let cool

POLENTA

2 cups fast cooking polenta
8 cups of water
1 cup of milk
4 T butter
.5 cup parmesan to mix into the polenta
1 tsp each salt and pepper, or to taste
.5 cup of parmesan, for the topping

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt. Slowly stir in polenta, stirring constantly until almost thick. Mixture will bubble up so stay close. Add 1 cup of milk and continue stirring until thick. 5 – 10 minutes. Stir in butter, parmesan and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Pour half into an 8 x 10 baking dish. Or comparable size pan. ( 9 x 12) Spread the mushroom mixture over the top. Cover with the rest of the polenta. Sprinkle the last half cup of parmesan over the top.

Preheat the oven to 350. Bake 45 – 50 minutes until heated through. Turn on the broiler and move to upper shelf of the oven. Watch carefully so that the parmesan browns but does not burn.
Enjoy with a salad for a great vegetarian meal.

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