• Virginia's Kitchen

    Yoakim Bridge Polenta
    with Fontina & Wild Mushrooms


    Servings: 8-10 slices


    You will need:
    9” spring-form pan, sprayed with cooking spray
    4-6 Quart heavy saucepan
    10” sauté pan

    8 C. chicken stock: the richer, the better!
    2 C. ground polenta: We use Pheasant Brand.
    4 C. coarsely grated Fontina cheese. (Approximately 1 lb)
    One cube (8 TBS.) butter (reserve 4 TBS. To sauté mushrooms)
    2 TBS. granulated garlic
    1 tsp. ground black pepper
    1 tsp. dried thyme
    2 C. wild or domestic mushrooms, sliced thin (in the case of wild mushrooms, roughly chopped). You might wish to reserve a few beauties to garnish each plate.


    In a sauté pan, sauté mushrooms in butter until just tender. Remove and set aside.


    In the large saucepan, bring the chicken stock and spices to a heavy simmer, slowly add the polenta, stirring constantly. As polenta begins to thicken, add the butter and again, very slowly, the grated cheese…always stirring constantly. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes. When the polenta is very thick, pour one half of the mixture into the prepared spring form pan. Add the sautéed mushrooms, making sure they are evenly distributed over the polenta. Cover with remaining polenta and let sit at room temperature until firm. Approximately one hour.


    [This can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days before serving…tightly covered, of course!]


    To serve: Bring the polenta (covered with foil) up to serving temperature in the oven…350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Remove spring form and slice into serving size of choice. Ladle hot Summer Tomato Sauce over and garnish with fresh basil leaf or tiny mushroom. Serve with Yoakim Bridge Zinfandel…and brace yourself! Life has NEVER been so good!


    Yoakim Bridge Summer Tomato Sauce


    2 C. finely minced onion (one large white)
    3 TBS. olive oil
    3 cans of 28 ounce peeled cut tomatoes, including juice
    1 tsp dried thyme leaves
    1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
    1 tsp ground black pepper
    2-3 TBS. sugar (to taste)


    In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Emulsify with an electric hand blender until thick and somewhat chunky. Serve warm over the polenta.


    We serve this with grilled chicken that has been rubbed with salt, pepper; dried thyme leaves, granulated garlic and dried, crushed oregano. Delicious!