Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight

Creamy, Cheesy Polenta with Fried Sage and Wild Mushrooms

I have always been of the opinion that nearly everything tastes good fried. Chicken, seafood, vegetables, potatoes, balls of dough–all delicious. At state fairs they’re even frying up Snickers bars, lattes (?) and batter-dipped frozen balls of butter. God bless America.
I have the same thoughts about peanut butter. What wouldn’t taste better with PB? You could smear peanut butter all over a granite countertop (or linoleum, I’m really not picky) and find me running my finger through it. Wait–I’m off subject. We were talking about fried foods, weren’t we. OOH! Fried peanut butter. Someone needs to work on that. I nominate Lauren or Shannon for the job.
Anywho, know what else is good fried? Sage leaves. That’s right. I took fresh, lovely herbs and fried them. You should do it too. They were crisp and delicate and were a nice balance to the creamy, cheesy polenta and the slightly chewy wild mushrooms. Plus, they just look cool.
polenta dish
Creamy Polenta with Fried Sage and Roasted Mushrooms
1 3/4 cup water
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup polenta
2/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp
1/8 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Bring water, broth, and garlic to a boil in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly mix in polenta. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Cover and place in oven. Bake until thick, but still creamy, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. (Add more water if mixture appears dry.)
Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves. Fry until crisp, about 10 seconds. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Set aside.
Roasted Mushrooms:
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 pound fresh wild mushrooms (shiitake, oyster or cremini)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, tossing to coat mushrooms thoroughly before arranging them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until tender and slightly crisp on the edges.

Jenn P.

30-something psychotherapist. Loves cooking, hosting parties, exploring new places. Texan by birth. New Yorker by choice. Likes to tell little stories. Pull up a chair; I'll tell you one.

  • Andrea B.
    Now this is my kind of recipe – looks amazing!! I’ve been wanting to try polenta for years and never have, but I will be so I can make this. Yummmm!!
  • victoria | vmac+cheese
    Jenn, this sounds really delicious! I love fried sage too…so easy and the perfect little garnish to so many dishes (chicken pallairds, risotto, fritto misto…mmm).
  • Ren- Lady Of The Arts
    yum this looks so good- I’ll have to try it before spring arrives.
  • Shana
    I just found your blog from PBF. I must say this is the first post I saw and I’ll be coming back for more!! looks soooo good lol =)
  • Shannon
    Haha thanks for the nomination. I failed big time on my Lenten sacrifice of no fried foods today. I ordered sweet potato fries when I was out to lunch. Um, the thought did not cross my mind that they would be fried. They were. Sooooo clearly frying up some PB is no problem for me.
    Yum, this dish looks good Jenn. On the subject of peanut butter which is excruciatingly expensive here in Greece (i always bulk buy in the UK or have friends bring me jars – hilarious!), i just had a thought.
    It’s pretty gross but what about peanut butter coated/sandwiched banana fritters (as in banana, peanut butter dipped in a light batter then fried)? Then lashings of golden Syrup on top? oooh yummy? Or french toast with peanut butter sandwiched in between 2 pieces then fried? x.o.x.o
  • Lauren Zabaneh
    “I’d like to thank the Academy of Food BLogs for this nomination. Peanut butter has always been my friend, as long as I can remember. It would do me a great honor to fry it beyond recognition. Thank you.” (a tiny tear trickles down her make-up laden face. she then trips as she steps down of her soap box in the middle of the frozen foods section at Whole Foods.) Anyways, thanks for the shout out, woman! I adore peanut butter. why it was the only thing I could eat when I was preggers that didn’t make me want to toss my cookies, albeit not peanut butter cookies…or oreos. Polenta is one of my favs. This rendition looks excruciatingly good. I love fried herbs, especially sage. I may have to serve this with the pork tenderloin that’s lingering in the freezer that i don’t know what to do with. I will certainly think of something fun to deep-fry that has the god of all nut butters in it. Hugs, sweet Jenn!
  • Kristin
    I already had dinner, but I’d eat a second one if that was in front of me!
  • Sasa
    I haven’t fried sage since I used to work at a restaurant and we had…a deep fryer. It’s like, my aim in life to own one of those…Thanks for the reminder, might have to settle for just doing it in a pan (the things I’m reduced to…)
  • Feast on the Cheap
    Umm, so this is pretty much my husband’s dream dish. I’m going to have to make this for him pronto.