Pennsylvania Polenta With Sliced Shiitake
- 3 ounces fresh shiitake thinly sliced, with stems removed
- 1/2 cup farina (cream of wheat)
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon finely-diced red bell pepper
- Tabasco sauce to taste
- Salt to taste
Place the mushrooms in 2 cups lightly salted water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute, then slowly add the cream of wheat, stirring. Continue to stir gently while the cereal thickens, about 10 minutes. Cereal should become very thick. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, eggs, egg yolks, cheese, red pepper, and Tabasco, and salt to taste, blending thoroughly.
Pour the warm mixture onto a well-oiled baking sheet and spread it out, making the surface as even as possible. Let cool, uncovered, in the refrigerator until cool to the touch.
Remove from the refrigerator and cut into decorative patterns with a cookie cutter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to use, place the pieces of polenta on a pan lined with aluminum foil and heat in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
This recipe yields 6 servings.
The polenta can be studded with an endless array of fresh herbs, chopped vegetables, or even meat or fish, and served as a dish by itself with its own sauce. It can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator.