How to Make Polenta at Home from Disney’s Food & Wine Festival
Would you like to bring a bit of Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival into your home? Today’s video can show you how: Chef Jesse Tiascareno is preparing a dish that is typical of what is served at the Festival – “Spicy Chicken Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta.”
Chef Jesse is normally at Rancho del Zocalo. For the Festival, he is one of nearly 100 Disneyland Resort chefs who will be meeting and greeting guests and preparing unique fare for the 2010 event. If you’d like to meet Jesse, he is scheduled to appear May 24 at 4:00 p.m. at the Chef’s Showcase Stage. When you arrive, check the Festival Welcome Center for more details.
The full recipe is below. Let us know if you try it!
Spicy Chicken Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta
Wine selection: Château des Charmes Riesling
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, small dice
½ oz basil (1 tablespoon)
1 oz garlic (2 tablespoons)
2/3 cup fresh corn (1 cob), removed from cob
1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup (optional)
1/3 cup regular polenta (ground yellow or white cornmeal)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped chives
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound spicy chicken sausage links
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add onions, basil, garlic and fresh corn and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add water, cream and maple syrup; bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in polenta. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes while continuing to stir.
- Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until polenta is creamy and has absorbed most of the liquid.
- Remove from oven and stir in chives and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste.
- Grill sausages, then slice in half. To serve, spoon polenta into warmed bowls and top with sausages.
For those unsure what Polenta is here is the description:
Polenta is made with ground yellow or white cornmeal (ground maize) originally made with Chestnut meal in ancient times. It can be ground coarsely or finely depending on the region and the texture desired. As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier forms of grain mush (known as puls or pulmentum in Latin or more commonly as gruel or porridge) commonly eaten in Roman times and after. Early forms of polenta were made with such starches as the grain farro and chestnut flour, both of which are still used in small quantity today. When boiled, polenta has a smooth, creamy texture due to the gelatinization of starch in the grain, though it may not be completely homogeneous if a coarse grind or a particularly hard grain such as flint corn is used.
Polenta was originally and still is classified as a peasant food. In the 1940s and 1950s polenta was not topped with luscious sauces but eaten with just a little salted anchovy or herring. The overreliance on maize as a staple food caused outbreaks of pellagra throughout much of Europe until the 20th century and in the American South during the early 1900s. Maize lacks readily accessible niacin unless cooked with alkali, which nixtamalizes it.
Since the late 20th century, polenta became a premium product. Polenta dishes are on the menu in many high-end restaurants, and prepared polenta can be found in supermarkets at high prices. Many current polenta recipes have given new life to an essentially bland and simple food, enriching it with meat and mushrooms sauces, and adding vegetables, beans or various cheeses into the basic mixture.