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Sunday
Nov132016

Shaved Brussel Sprouts & Polenta Cake

The original dish was with something called a Fontina Cake, and it took me a little while to figure out what it really was:  basically, flattened Arancini balls.  Since I had already made the polenta the day before, I went ahead with it.  Not sure the Arancini is worth the effort, this was just as good.  Maybe some day, when I happen to have some leftover risotto that I made with no other flavorings, i'll try it that way.  If you want to, just look up Arancini on any food site and go with whatever your favorite chef says.  Just make into patties instead of balls, and serve with the brussel sprout salad. This half recipe of hard polenta will make 6 servings.  My mother used to stand over a hot pot of liquid, sprinkling the polenta in every so slowly, and then stood there another 45 minutes, stiring constantly while it cooked.  (Actually, she made me do it.)  Then one day she figureded out an easier methods, and its been mine ever since.  Thanks, Nan.

Make the Polenta:

1-1/4 cup polenta meal
1-1/2 cup mile
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
4 oz fontina cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs

  • Add the water,  mile and salt to a small sauce pan and stir
  • Using a whisk, add the polenta to the liquid while it is cold and whisk
  • Turn the heat on to medium, stirring every minute or two until the polenta meal starts to cook.  Once it starts to boil, turn it down to very low, stiring every five m inutes and let it cook until somewhat stiff, about 45 minutes
  • Add the shredded fontina cheese
  • Pour about 1 Tbs EVOO into into 3 ramikans, pour in the hot polenta cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate overnight.  If you are going to double the recipe for a larger crowd, pour the polenta into a single oiled loaf pan instead
  • Next day, preheat your oven to 400
  • Run a spatula around the edge of the dish or pan, invert and turn out the polenta.  Slice the rounds in half, or cut the loaf into slices about 1 inch thick
  • Place the slices into a bowl with the bread crumbs, turn and pat the crumbs into the cake
  • Place on a baking sheet, and bake about 15 minutes, turn and bake another 15 minutes

Make the Brussel Sprout Salad

10-12 large brussel sprouts
2 Tbs Cooked, crumbed bacon (optional)
2 Tbs toasted pine nuts (optional)
2 oz chunk of Reggiona Parmesana cheese
2 Tbs EVOO
2 Tbs White Truffle Oil
2 Tbs champagne or white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • Cut the brussel sprouts nearly in half and discard the root end
  • Cut the cheese into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Place the sprouts, cheese, bacon and nuts down the feed tube of your food processor, fitted with the slicing blade on its thinnest setting, slicing into the bowl. Remove to a medium bowl.
  • Whisk the remaining ingredients together to make the dressing.
  • Toss the sprouts with the dressing, and pile on top of the polenta cakes.
  • Drizzel a little extra truffle oil to serve.

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