Creamy 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.
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
1/8 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.
Top with 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.