Polenta Soufflé and Salad

For a long time after moving here to Krungthep, I continued to subscribe to Sunset Magazine, the “magazine of Western living.”  Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, its articles and recipes reminded me to a lifestyle that is in my roots.  Eventually, the subscription expired, renewal notices didn’t make it to me, and I decided it was time to let go.  But the past week, I dug up a recipe from my Sunset files for a “never fall” polenta soufflé and salad.

Attributed to Victor Scargle, then chef at San Francisco’s Grand Café, these soufflés are moist and light, more like a spoon bread than a classic soufflé.  With a salad and mushroom dressing, they make a simple but handsome supper.

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You start off with a mixture of polenta, milk, salt and butter.  Allow to cook over medium-high heat until the mixture boils, then reduce to medium heat and stir regularly.

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Meanwhile, separate four eggs.  Ultimately, I think I could have done with one fewer yolks, but maybe these eggs are “eggier” than normal.  Beat the whites until they form distinct, moist peaks.

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The polenta is done when it is thick enough to hold a clean path for a few seconds when drawing a spatula across the bottom of the pan.

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Remove it from the heat and add baking powder and egg yolks, mixing well.

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Fold in the egg whites, one third at a time, and gently mix.  Spoon the mixture into ramekins that have been buttered and lined with grated parmesan cheese.

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Bake in a 375 F (180 C) oven for about 30-40 minutes or until well-browned.

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Meanwhile, make a mushroom sauce by browning chopped mushrooms and onions.

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Deglaze with a little vinegar and beef stock (or substitute chicken stock, if you prefer.)

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Reduce until mushrooms are soft and the liquid has formed a glaze.

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Serve soufflés alongside a mixed green salad, spooning the mushroom sauce over the salad.

Alternatives:  Since I had a few soufflés left over, I reheated them, combining the left over mushroom mixture with some bell peppers, onions and sausage fried in anatto oil.  Spooning this new mixture on top of the soufflé was a wonderful addition. 

0 thoughts on “Polenta Soufflé and Salad

  1. I’ve always wanted to try polenta… it looks simply delicious!I’ve only tried it in a microwavable Trader Joe’s lasagna… which was actually pretty tasty 🙂

  2. Look at the deep yellow of those egg yolks. They are certainly not artificially produced eggs. I am not sure I’ve eaten polenta. Looks very good.

  3. mmm the polenta souffle looks delectable! so far i’ve only attempted to make one type of savory souffle (spinach) and the first time was a mega-failure.. now i really want to try polenta~

  4. OH sure! I’ve eaten grits. I love that, but never in the form of a muffin. I think I should make it like you do. I liked the simplicity of it.

  5. Looks much better than my dinner – Hot dogs. I made Pad Thai for lunch because everyone was home. We will try to clean up some leftovers tonight instead of cooking….

  6. @Wangium –  Are you telling me to slow down the frequency of posts about new recipes, or are you telling me that I should just let you fall behind? =)@ZSA_MD –  It was pretty easy and straight-forward. Plus, the mushrooms can be modified any number of ways.@brooklyn2028 –  @stebow –  Please post pictures of the results.@tdalch –  Interesting. I wonder if the heat was a little too high for them and the outsides cooked before the insides had a chance to fully puff up? Souffles can be a bit of a pain in the kiester…@murisopsis –  Pad thai for lunch and hot dogs for dinner? That’s an interesting progression. =)@TheCheshireGrins –  Ha ha… polenta is one of those ingredients that when you say it, it automatically makes the dish sound fancier.@Fongster8 –  That’s very nice of you to say. I think my menus would scare off most Thais!

  7. Polenta is grits? That actually doesn’t look too complicated to make. I like the idea of your own cooking show. The Farang Chef? Nah… need something a bit catchier.

  8. i love the souffles, but i think i will pass on the mushroom dressing… i don’t like mushrooms. i made a veggie lasagna for dinner last night, and it didn’t have a single mushroom =D

  9. Hi Chris,Just reading the cooking preparation and getting the end result already make me inadequate in my cooking skills which I used to have once upon a time.  Now I take the shortcut by relying on recommendations for fine dinning instead.Just got back from Valencia where my brother-in-law (German -Swiss) cooked Spanish “Panealla” for our welcome lunch last week.  Have you tried this dish before?Sumptious meal and of course a siesta afterward..Susan

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