These crispy polenta cakes are served with a mushroom ragu. The perfect party appetizer. Elegant, delicious and easy.
Every year the same thing happens. My imagination conjures up some over the top, sequin studded, champagne sipping, New Year’s eve party. I fantasize about fancy passed hors d’oeuvres on silver platters and wearing heels in the kitchen.
Then reality strikes and I realize I’m not Carrie Bradshaw (although she would never be cooking on New Year’s eve), we live in the sticks and all of our friends have kids and/or newborns.
I saw a polenta recipe on Bon Appetite and literally had to make it. If I was hosting that New Year’s, this would be one of those passed hors d’oeuvres.
Polenta screams classy just because it’s not really “American” (and classy is so far from true considering it’s cornmeal + liquid…but just go with it) and oyster mushrooms are one of those things that look all fancy but really aren’t. So basically this whole recipe was one delicious tasting farce. Looks complicated/fancy/elegant whatever, but so isn’t. My kinda thing.
The combination of the savory pan fried polenta squares with the slightly creamy mushrooms is out of this world delicious. It’s one of those bites where your mouth just does a happy dance and says “why do you not feed me like this all the time?”
It also transported me back to visiting my family in Italy when I was studying abroad in Spain in college. My second cousin made us polenta with a cinghiale (wild boar) ragu that her husband had caught. It was such an unbelievably comforting dish. When I think of that trip, that’s my first memory. This cute little squared bite reminded me of that in a slightly less hearty way.
So, regardless of what you’re doing on New Year’s, fancy party or sitting on your couch, passed hors d’oeuvres or a microwave meal, heels or slippers, you should make room for this in your plans.
And if you are having that fancy party, hook a girl up with an invite next year!