I LOVE POLENTA
Sun Dried Tomato Polenta Cutlets will go well in a lunchbox or picnic basket. Enjoy!
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 10, not packed in oil)
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced onions
6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tablespoons dried basil
2 cups chopped mushrooms
3 cups water
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
2 cups breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
3-4 egg whites (3 is enough if using extra large or jumbo eggs)
1. Cover the sun dried tomatoes with the boiling water in a non-reactive heatproof bowl and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, warm the olive oil and saute the onions, 1/3 of the garlic, and 1/4 teaspoons salt for about 5 minutes, until the onions soften.
3. Add 1/3 cup of the basil and the mushrooms, cover, and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their juices, about 10 minutes.
4. Drain and mince the sun dried tomatoes, add them to the mushroom mixture, and set aside.
5. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water, 3/4 teaspoons salt, and another 1/3 of the garlic to a boil.
6. Whisk in the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream, stirring rapidly to prevent lumps.
7. Lower the heat and cook, uncovered, gently, for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the polenta is quite thick.
8. Add the mushroom mixture to the polenta and mix well.
9. Prepare an 8x12 inch glass or porcelain baking dish with a light coating of cooking spray.
10. Spread the polenta mixture evenly in the baking dish and chill in the freezer for 1/2 hour or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
11. When the polenta mixture has chilled enough to hold its shape when cut, it will be very easy to handle.
12. While the polenta is chilling, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, the parsley, and the remaining garlic and basil in a food processor or blender and whirl together until well mixed.
13. Pour out into a large deep platter.
14. In a separate large shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg whites and remainging 1/4 teaspoon salt until slightly frothy.
15. Preheat the oven to 400*F.
16. Cut the chilled polenta in half lengthwise, in thirds crosswise, and then cut each rectangular sixth in half on the diagonal.
17. This mathmatical wizardry makes 12 triangular cutlets (they say trust us).
18. Using a spatula, remove each triangle from the baking dish, dip it in the egg whites, and then thoroughly coat it with the bread crumb mixture.
19. Place the breaded cutlets on a large very lightly oiled or sprayed baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.
20. With a metal spatula, carefully turn each cutlet over and bake for 10 minutes more, until golden brown.
You may top each serving of cutlets with a tomato-wine sauce, savory onion marmalade, pesto, or sauce of your choice.