Polenta and mushrooms

Another recipe for your Christmas table: polenta can be a very versatile dish and it is typical from Northern Italy. In this recipe I will explain how it is cooked in Friuli Venezia Giulia, or better how in my family used to be cooked.
Polenta is made with stone- grounded cornmeal and with a grainy texture. It can be cooked to be creamy and thick, or allowed to set and then sliced.
My grandmother takes 2 hours to cook the polenta over the fire – in this version I have used ready to use polenta and I decided to serve it with mushrooms. It is also perfect with meat, fish or poultry.

What you need:

• pack of ready to make polenta;
• water;
• salt;
• 200 g mushrooms;
• 1 medium onion,
• 1 dl vegetable stock;
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil;

(Optional: parsley and cheese).

 

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How to make it:

Cook the polenta following the instructions on the package. This recipe can be done with thick or liquid polenta, it really depends on the taste.
When the polenta has reached a thick structure transfer it in a dish and let it cool down. In the meanwhile cook the mushrooms: wash them thouroughly, slice them and cook them in an hot pan with the olive oil and the sliced onion. Add the stock little by little until the mushrooms are tender and have browned.

While the mushrooms are cooking on a low fire you can cut your cooled polenta as desired: as it is Christmas I have shaped it as a snowflake using a cookies cut. Just remember to wash the cutter you are using so the polenta does not stick to it.

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Serve the mushrooms on the top of the polenta and add some parseley if you like.

Tip: you can also add some Emmenthal or pecorino cheese on top of it.

Christmas chocolate mousse

Ho ho ho, Christmas time is coming so it is time to start posting some recipes for the festive season. The first one is going to be a Dark Chocolate Mousse: DELICIOUS! Not only this recipe tastes good but you don’t need eggs or flour to make it so perfect in case of allergies. Hope you enjoy it!

What you need:
•250 g dark chocolate;
•300 ml double fresh cream;
• digestive biscuits (optional);

How to make it:
Before starting with the instructions I want to give you some recommandations: nr1) use extra dark chocolate (min 75% cocoa): I know not everybody loves dark chocolate however it is important for the good result of the recipe. Using a milk chocolate or any other type will not deliver the same result. The fresh cream is sweet enough on its own; nr 2) make sure the bowl where you will whip the cream is clean and non greasy otherwise you will not get a good result.
The first thing to do in this case is whipping the fresh cream: pour the fresh cream in a mixer and mix for about 2/3 minutes or until soft peak stage. Keep your cream in the fridge.

Melt the chocolate through the bain marie technique (it basically means melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water) so you don’t burn it out. Keep mixing your chocoalte until it is completely melted. Remove the chocolate from the hob and let it cool down for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Gently add the melted chocolate to the cream and with movements from the centre to the outside of the bowl, keep mixing until you incorporate all the chocolate.

You can now serve in glasses or small cups and guarnish with biscuits and with the remained cream. This is the result:

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Few more tips:
– this mousse should be kept at room temparature. If you wish to prepare it the day before remember to take it out from the fridge at least 30 mins before eating it. If not, it will be still super tasty but a bit harder to eat;
– this mousse can be also used to cover any other dessert: cupcakes, cakes, croissants…feel free to use it as desired.