Polenta: a canvas for artful menus this spring

Another all-time favorite…
so perfect as a canvas for artful menus this spring.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…
more great tips for great menus.
Spring is also a great time for new menu covers.
Our Solid Wood Menu Covers are another popular item from our versatile product portfolio. Our wood covers are made from solid 1/4″ thick oak, cherry or mahogany + the option of a heavier, thicker cover with both front and back covers made of wood.
Spring treats await…
Polenta Pie with Gorgonzola
1 1⁄2 cups polenta
1⁄2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
1⁄2 cup grated asiago cheese
1 tbsp. butter
In a large pot, whisk polenta into 4 cups cold salted water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until polenta is the consistency of porridge. Lower heat and continue simmering for 5 minutes more; continue stirring constantly. Add butter and grated asiago cheese. Mix well, until the butter melts, then pour the polenta into a greased cast-iron skillet or ovenproof pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle gorgonzola over the top of the polenta. Bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and brown. Remove from oven and slice into wedges.
This dish can be served hot or at room temperature.
Perfect!  Appetizer, small plate, side dish or entree.
Polenta with Mushroom Ragout
For the polenta:
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the mushroom ragout:
5 ounces mushrooms ( 2 cups ) trimmed, cleaned, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* (cultivated, wild, or a mix )
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped (2 teaspoons)
4 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 1/4 cups)
1 cup of fresh corn–husked off the cob
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or low-salt canned chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
For the polenta:
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle the cornmeal on top while mixing it in with a whisk, and stir in the salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid to prevent splattering, and cook gently for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is cooked and has the consistency of a creamy puree. Set aside, covered.
For the ragout:
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. When they are hot, add the onion and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat for about 2 minutes, until the liquid emerges from them and evaporates. Add the garlic, tomatoes, corn, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a strong boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. To serve, ladle the polenta into the center of four soup plates and pour the mushroom ragout on top of and around it. Sprinkle with the chives and serve.
Light and airy and so ideal for the season.
Polenta and Goat Cheese Souffle with Spring Greens
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon instant polenta
5 1/2 ounces fresh goat cheese (2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 cups milk
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons snipped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 bunch arugula (6 ounces)
1 small head of radicchio–torn into bite-size pieces
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the polenta with the cheese. Generously butter an 8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish and coat it with the polenta-cheese mixture. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of polenta and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the goat cheese, egg yolks, chives, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat one-fourth of the egg whites into the polenta, then fold the polenta into the remaining egg whites with a large rubber spatula. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake on the lowest rack of the oven for about 20 minutes, until the soufflé is golden, risen and only slightly jiggly in the center. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and radicchio and toss well. Transfer the salad to 4 plates. Spoon the soufflé alongside and serve. The polenta soufflé can be baked up to 4 hours ahead and served at room temperature.
Suggested pairing: a citrusy Italian Pinot Grigio
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
America’s leading source for restaurant menu covers
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