Polenta, or corn grits, is well represented in the southern Austrian and upper Italian kitchen. Especially in countrified regions polenta mush with milk and coffee is served as a nutritious sweet breakfast. Today you will find polenta often on menus of restaurants as a side dish to fish or meat in form of grilled polenta slices or savory creamy mush. We want to show you now an easy and fast main dish with polenta.
The spermidine-rich ingredients in this dish are: the parmesan we add to the polenta mush, as well as the mushrooms. We recommend to use king oyster mushrooms, which are among all analyzed mushrooms the one with the highest spermidine content. Corn contains a lot of spermidine, but also a lot of vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and silica. Whether the spermidine is retained in the processing of corn to polenta is no yet investigated. Polenta is easily digestible, a good filling energy source as well as gluten free.
Mix the polenta with 3-fold volume braw and the fine chopped dried yellow boletus in a pot, bring it to a boil (attention it is blubbery), quickly cover with a lid and turn off the heat. Let it rest and swell for at least 10 minutes. In the meanwhile cut the mushrooms in slices chop the onions and dice the bacon. Stew the bacon in the pan until the grease gets liquid and the red parts crispy. Add the onions and stew them glassy. Turn off the heat and add mushroom slices, chopped parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Finally, grate the parmesan, add it with the butter to the polenta and stir until it is well mixed. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Grease the muffin tin with olive oil and fill in the polenta. Also brush some olive oil on top of the polenta and put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C (two-sided heat). When the polenta got a little crispy on the bottom and the top put the bacon-mushroom-mix on top and bake in the oven for another 10 minutes. To prevent the polenta muffins from breaking you should let it rest for 5 minutes before taking them out of the tin.
Of course you can top the polenta with many different things; our kids loved the variant with “pizza-like” topping (tomato sauce, cheese, kapern and bacon).
If you do not have a muffin tin just take a casserole or baking tray instead. Or you leaf out the baking in the oven completely. Therefore add the mushrooms also shortly to the pan with the bacon and onions and put it on the polenta in the pot with freshly grated parmesan.
Ingredients (for 2 muffin tins or 1 pot, 4 persons)
1 ½ large cups polenta (240 g)
4 ½ large cups broth (1 L)
1 hand full dried yellow boletus (optional)
30 g butter
50 g parmesan
1 red onion
100 g mushrooms (king oyster mushrooms)
50 g bacon (fatty)
1 hand full parsley
½ TSP thyme
Salt, pepper, nutmeg