Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms, Onions, Fontina and Prosciutto: A Happy End to Lots of Leftovers

The other day, I looked in my refrigerator only to be bombarded with random bits and ends of leftovers that needed to be used up - and FAST. The reason? Mother was coming, and Mother LOVES throwing stuff out and muttering under her breath that I waste food. I sometimes do, but I really try hard not to, and wasn't really in the mood to hear anything of the sort so I decided, right then and there I would make something with the leftovers.

There was a bit of milk leftover in a gallon container, 3 slices of prosciutto, some scraps of fontina cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions from steak night and a few leaves of basil. All of this needed to be put in something somehow. I opened up my pantry only to discover a bit of cornmeal in a container and thought - ahhhh...polenta baked with some stuff on top.

And that is exactly what I made. And for some leftover scraps, boy was it soooo good. It was so yummy I took a nice hunk over to Daughter's kindergarten teacher who emailed me ecstatically about how yummy it was. And now? It's so yummy that I have to make it again, only not with leftovers, but with fresh ingredients.

Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms, Onions, Fontina, and Prosciutto
Serves 6

1/2 of onion, sliced
4 mushrooms (cremini, button, or your preference)
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

3 cups of milk
3/4 cups of cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
1 tablespoon butter

1/2 lb of fontina cheese, sliced
3 slices of prosciutto, torn into shreds

2 tablespoons basil, julienne

Preheat oven to 375. In a heavy skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add onions and salt. Saute and cook until onions are translucent and turning brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are tender - another 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a heavy pot, heat milk until it is almost boiling. Pour in cornmeal all at once, reduce heat to medium, and using a whisk, stir quickly until it is uniform in consistency and creamy. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes, and add salt and pepper, and tablespoon of butter. Pour polenta mixture into an 8X8 baking dish.

Top with onion and mushroom mixture, sprinkle torn prosciutto pieces, and layer fontina carefully on top. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and starting to brown. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

Serve immediately, careful not to burn your mouth.

Printable recipe


You can see the creamy corn polenta peeking through the cheese and the mushrooms.

4 comments:

christao408 said...

This sounds fantastic, Joanne! I was thinking as I opened my email this morning that I need to come up with something nice for dinner. Perfect timing to see this entry.

Joanne Choi said...

Hey Chris - hope it comes out fabulously...I'd love to see how you tweak it (since you're so good at that!) Your blog makes me want to go to thailand...sigh.

christao408 said...

Okay, I wasn't able to find fontina cheese here at the market in Bangkok, but emmenthal worked very nicely instead. Sadly, upon cooking my polenta I discovered there were little bugs in it! So I tossed that out and substituted pasta instead. In the end it turned out very tasty but a bit different than the original recipe. Will have to go back and try again with some fresh polenta.

jenny+3 said...

Delicious. I loved this dish. I added spinach and used bacon instead of prosciutto. It came out all bubbly, and yes I did burn my tongue with the first bite.

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