Monday, 5 February 2007

Spinach & Mushroom Polenta

25g / 1oz butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove - crushed
225g / 8oz mushrooms finely chopped
50g / 2oz fresh or frozen spinach, finely chopped
80g / 3 3/4oz quick cook polenta
25g / 1oz parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper (optional)
oil for greasing

melt butter, add onion & garlic & cook for 2/3 mins until softened.

Add mushrooms & cook for another 3 mins

Add spinach and cook for a further few mins, stirring occassionally.

Remove from heat & set aside.

Bring 350ml/12 fl oz water to boil in a pan. Stirring constantly pour in polenta in a steady stream. Keep stirring (it gets quite hard) & cook for a few mins, until the polenta thickens & comes away from the sides of the pan.

Stir in onion mix, parmesan & seasoning (if using).

Oil a 1lb loaf tin, then spoon in mixture. Level surface and tap sides to remove air pockets.

Leave to cool totally. When cool, turn out & cut into thick slices. Brush with oilve oil & grill for 5 mins on each side until golden & crisp

edit - just wanted to add, this is my adaptation of a JM recipe!


carrie said...

Hello Mel

Lovely web site - has been a real source of inspiration in getting started on BLW.

I tried to cook the polenta yesterday but to rather disasterous effects today! I followed your recipe to the letter pretty much, but the mixture in the tin today was extremely moist and sticky when I tried to take it out of the cake tin?!?! So I wondered if I could pick your brains as it smelt so lovely I am sure my son will love it.

When I cooked the mushrooms they were very moist and watery and some of this juice got into the polenta mixture - do you think this would have caused the problem? Also, I am not sure if I had easy cook polenta and maybe I have to change the proportions of polenta to water or try and find easy cook polenta, would this have made a difference?

Is the texture meant to come out like the pre prepared polenta - my partner normally cooks it, but is away at the moment, so I can not ask him!

I definitely want to try it again, so any advice would gratefully be received...oh yes, how long do you normally stir the polenta for before you add the mixture?

Many thanks

Carrie :)

Mel_x said...

Hi Carrie,

so sorry I missed your question.

The polenta I have is Dunn's river Cornmeal coarse polenta, and when I added it to the water I stir it really hard for about 5 mins (the packet said 5-10 mins).

I don't think that a bot of moisture in the mushrooms would make a difference, I cannot remember what mine were like though tbh. I guess you could try draining them a bit, but I cannot see that making everything sticky. My guess would be that you would need to stir the polenta more when you are cooking it. It is a real arm killer!

I think there are 2 types of polenta, so it may be worth looking around.

I sort of cross referenced the recipe with the cooking instructions on the packet, but were really similar!

I would describe the cooked texture as a cross between an omlette and a slightly soggy cake, so solid but hard. That is a truely useless description in honesty, but i hope it helps a little.

I left it to cool for quite a while too, but then it cut really easily. I made mine in a ceramic lagasne dish, but that shouldn't make a difference.

will check this post if you want to ask me anything else.


Mel x

carrie said...

Thank you so much Mel for the tip - I am going to give it another go - I am sure it is my crapness with Polenta, my DP cooks it normally!!!

Sorry for the late reply been at the in-laws - will keep you posted.