About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Making Polenta | Main | Baked Polenta with Bolognese Meat Sauce »

Instant Polenta

Well, I drew the easy recipe this week. When I read about Palma’s valiant stirring efforts I was comforted that I just had to stir my polenta for a couple of minutes, not the marathon 45 minutes that she had to stir. I chose to use Colavita Polenta, which recommended 5 minutes cooking time, but Marcella said to cook it for a full 15 regardless of what the box said. I followed her instructions completely and was rewarded with a beautiful pot of polenta.

When I was getting ready for this weeks challenge I was debating how I should serve this polenta. Should I go for a meat dish or something different? My son has just started a low carb diet, so I have gotten tired of all of the different forms of meat, fish and eggs that I have had to fix lately. I started looking online at different recipes to try and I came across a recipe for Gorgonzola polenta with mushrooms. In the recipe they talk about Marcella’s method of making polenta and how great it is. I took that as a sign and decided to use this recipe.


This recipe called for adding crumbled Gorgonzola to the warm polenta and stirring it in completely. The topping is made with Baby Bella mushrooms sautéed in butter and garlic. I then added a little dry red wine and let that cook down a bit. I then added some fresh lemon juice and parsley. I scooped out some of the top of my polenta dome and added the mushroom mixture. This was delicious. It would be a lovely dish to serve at a brunch.

Comments (6)

Marcella Hazan:

Where did everyone go? Am I the only one to congratulate Beth on a very tasty-looking dish? My compliments, Beth, a very pretty dish and a judicious combination of flavors on the whole. Only one thing puzzles me: Why did you add lemon juice to your mushrooms after having added red wine? I'd say it should be either one or the other. Red wine and lemon juice aren't exactly compatible, it seems to me.

Beth responds- Yes, I wondered too, so I added it judiciously and tasted to make sure that I didn't add to much. The lemon and parsley gave it a fresh finish, which was nice.

Checking in! I take care of the parents every weekend, but I check the posts!

Beth, I think your choice of mushrooms to accompany the polenta was a great one. It looks delicious.

Marcella, perhaps the red wine and lemon juice combined creates too much acidity?

I am still reading, quietly. Please continue!

Beth, this is one of the prettiest dishes we've posted. I love the way the baby bellas appear to drape themselves across the polenta. My grandmother used to say that a "centerpiece dish" was always better than flowers. I think she would choose this as her centerpiece.

Beth responds- Thanks Deborah! It has always been a challenge for me to make things look pretty. I can make them taste good, but the pretty thing, not so much! You made my day!

Beth, this is one recipe I am printing out to make. Polenta with gorgonzola and adorned with sauteed mushrooms - what more could one ask for? Good job!

Nice post, indeed Useful blog actuallly. good timing for me actually as I was studying all this material when stumbling across you :-) I will register, keep up the great efforts. Peace

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 15, 2010 8:00 AM.

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