Parmigiano-Reggiano Polenta with Mushrooms and Spicy Sausage

Parmigiano-Reggiano Polenta with Mushrooms and Spicy Sausage

A creamy cornmeal porridge, polenta used to be made of other grains, such as hulled barley, spelt, buckwheat or chestnut flour before in the 16th century Christopher Columbus brought corn from the Americas back to Europe. A staple of Northern Italian cuisine, polenta is more than just a side dish. It is extremely versatile, eaten as a freshly cooked mush, cooled and then grilled or fried, or thinly spread out to be dried and baked to make polenta crisps. Instant cornmeal polenta is widespread nowadays and reduces the cooking time to a mere 2-3 minutes. Adding Parmigiano-Reggiano to the polenta enhances its fairly simple flavour to a delightfully creamy and savoury taste sensation. Polenta pairs well with tomato sauce, mushrooms, fried eggs or sausages. This recipe has combined mushrooms and spicy sausages to serve up a hearty meal for this fast approaching autumn. Buon appetito!

Ingredients:

For 2 portions

 

2 thick, spicy sausages (or 4 Merguez), cut in chunks

150g woodland mushrooms (e.g. Shitake, Oyster, Eryngii or Champignons)

½ large white onion, thinly sliced

Knob of butter for frying the sausages

Dash of sea salt and black pepper

 

For the polenta:

100g instant cornmeal polenta

100g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

400ml water

Knob of butter

Dash of sea salt

 

For the parsley oil:

50ml extra virgin olive oil

Handful fresh parsley

Dash of sea salt

 

What you’ll need:

Chopping board

Large kitchen knife

Pot

Frying pan

Measuring jug

Kitchen scales

Grater

Blender

Small fine mesh sieve

Small jar

Method:

  1. For preparing the parsley oil, take a large handful of fresh flat or curly parsley and chop it up. Combine the chopped parsley and about 50ml extra virgin olive oil in a blender and blitz. Let it sit for approximately 30 minutes while preparing the main meal.
  2. Thinly slice the onion, cut the sausages and any large mushroom pieces into smaller chunks and fry in some butter until the meat is cooked through. Add a dash of sea salt and black pepper for taste.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the polenta by mixing 100g of cornmeal with 400ml of water and cook on low heat. Instant polenta will thicken very fast and needs to be stirred frequently to avoid burning on the bottom. Once the polenta is thick and throws bubbles, turn off the heat and stir in grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a knob of butter and a dash of sea salt for taste.
  4. By now, the parsley oil should be sufficiently infused. Take a small fine mesh sieve, place it over a jar or glass and pass the oil through it. It should have taken on a light green colour from the parsley.
  5. Divide the polenta into two portions, add the fried sausage and mushroom pieces and round of the dish with a generous drizzle of parsley oil. Serve immediately.

(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

http://www.castelli-uk.com

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Parmigiano-Reggiano and Mushroom Risotto with Chorizo

Parmigiano-Reggiano and Mushroom Risotto with Chorizo

If dinner is usually deciding between having pizza or pasta, why not opt for a risotto instead? Another classic Italian dish, risotto is easy and foolproof to make. The basic recipe consisting of risotto rice, such as arborio, onion, garlic, broth, white wine, butter, and parmesan can be altered by adding an array of further ingredients like chicken, sausage, seafood and a variety of vegetables. Risottos are extremely versatile. The basic recipe can be whipped up to finish off leftovers or, using premium ingredients, be turned it into a dinner party’s culinary delight. This smooth and flavourful dish of nutty, salty Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese coupled with spicy chorizo and the rich, savoury tastes of Shitake mushrooms, the mild flavour of Chestnut mushrooms and meaty texture of Oyster mushrooms is a true delight for the senses. Whereas creamy in texture, the risotto still retains some bite to it and provokes the olfactory nerve with the most invigorating scent.

Mushroom_Risotto_3

Ingredients:

For 2-3 portions

 

200g Risotto rice, e.g. arborio

5 heaped tbsp. of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

15g dried Shitake mushrooms

4 mid-sized fresh Chestnut mushrooms

4 mid-sized fresh Oyster mushrooms

600ml vegetable, chicken or beef stock or broth (1 stock cube)

75g chorizo sausage, diced

100ml dry white wine, e.g. Sauvignon Blanc

Large handful of curly parsley, finely chopped

1 midsized onion

1 clove of garlic

25g butter

Extra virgin olive oil to taste

Salt, pepper to taste

 

What you’ll need:

Saucepan

Spatula

Tablespoon

Chopping board

Kitchen knife

Measuring jug

Kitchen scales

 

Method:

 

  1. Chop the Chorizo, fresh mushrooms, onion and garlic. Slowly heat the saucepan and melt the butter. Sweat the onion, mushroom, garlic and Chorizo for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the uncooked rice to the saucepan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir several times to avoid any burning of the ingredients and rice sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the white wine to the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add stock to the rice bit by bit (pour from the measuring jug). If you are using stock cubes, boil water and dissolve 1 stock cube in 600 ml hot water. Soak the dried Shitake mushrooms in the hot stock before adding the mixture to the saucepan. Keep adding more stock once the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Stir regularly to avoid any burning of the rice.
  5. Finely chop the fresh parsley and add to the pan.
  6. The cooking process takes about 20-25 minutes Test the softness of the rice. It should be slightly al dente.
  7. Finely grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir into the risotto.
  8. Divide the mixture into 2-3 portions and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of extra Parmesan on each plate.

 

Mushroom_Risotto_1

(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

http://www.castelli-uk.com

 

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Smoked Salmon & Parmesan Brunch Tarts

Smoked Salmon & Parmesan Brunch Tarts

Smoked Salmon & Parmesan Brunch Tarts

What would be a Sunday Brunch without a little indulgence? As the weather is picking up and spring being on the rise, most Sunday mornings are not as gloomy anymore as in previous weeks. The sun gleaming brightly through the windows makes me never wanting to leave the kitchen table, but to keep on sipping coffee and eating crispy bread rolls for hours. If you are feeling a bit decadent this coming Sunday, why not try these Smoked Salmon and Parmesan tarts with cream cheese served alongside a glass of bubbly? Not only will those flaky tarts be a feast for the eyes and your palate, but a sure-fire way to impress any guest. A toast to the perfect brunch delight!

Ingredients:

For 6 Tarts

1 pack puff pastry (ready rolled, ca. 375g)

75 – 100g Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

100 – 150g cream cheese

100 – 150g smoked salmon

Bunch fresh dill

Black pepper to season

What you’ll need:

Flat baking tray

Round stencil (e.g. wide mug), ø10cm

Grater

Large bread knife

Rolling pin (to roll out the dough scraps)

Method:

  • Unroll the sheet of ready-made puff pastry and place it on a flat surface (the dough should be rolled in baking paper already).
  • Take a round stencil such as a glass, mug or small bowl with an average diameter of 10cm and cut out 9 pieces (you may have to take the dough “scraps” and roll it out again to cut out more pieces). The dough itself should not be rolled any thinner as it already is.
  • Place the cut-outs on a flat baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
  • Grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano and sprinkle it generously on all pieces.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven (180°C, fan, middle-rack) for 15-20 minutes until the rounds have risen well and are golden in colour.
  • Remove from the oven. Half each of the puff pastry rounds to end up with 18 pieces. With a knife, spread six pieces with cream cheese (no need to be exact with the amount, just make sure you have enough cream cheese for all of them) and sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Take another six pieces and place smoked salmon on them as well as fresh dill. Stack the salmon rounds on top of the cream cheese rounds and top them off with the remaining six Parmesan-coated pieces.

Salmon_Tarts_1

(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

http://www.castelli-uk.com

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