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CULINARY SOS

Puffed Polenta

May 10, 2000|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: I recently had the most delicious polenta souffle with mushroom sauce at the Grand Cafe in the Hotel Monaco in San Francisco. Could you obtain the recipe?

SONJA PLAHN

Lancaster

DEAR SONJA: The nice thing about this recipe from chef Denis Soriano is that the souffle and ragout can also be served with other dishes. The ragout is great over rice, noodles or dumplings. The souffle is wonderful with poultry, pork or beef stew.

Polenta Souffle With Mushroom Ragout

Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

SOUFFLE

3 cups milk

1/2 cup polenta

1/2 cup cornmeal

4 eggs, separated

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons baking powder

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Olive oil, for greasing

* Heat milk in saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around edges. Stir in polenta and cornmeal and whisk until thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Cool about 10 minutes, then stir in egg yolks, butter, salt and baking powder.

* Beat egg whites with sugar until stiff, 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly fold half egg white mixture into polenta. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. (Always add egg white in 2 or more steps to evenly incorporate). Pour polenta mixture into well-oiled 2-quart baking dish or souffle dish. Bake at 350 degrees until polenta is puffy and browned, 45 to 50 minutes.

MUSHROOM RAGOUT

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces mixed specialty mushrooms, such as oyster, shiitake, cremini and morel, sliced

2 tablespoons minced shallots

2 tablespoons Madeira

3/4 cup veal or chicken stock

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

1 tablespoon butter

Salt, pepper

* Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms with shallots and saute until tender, 5 minutes. Add Madeira and stock. Cook over medium heat until reduced and slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in tarragon, butter and salt and pepper to taste.

* Pour Mushroom Ragout onto serving platter and spoon Souffle over top.

6 servings. Each serving: 351 calories; 1,578 mg sodium; 177 mg cholesterol; 20 grams fat; 30 grams carbohydrates; 11 grams protein; 0.33 gram fiber.

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