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Polenta Rice Cakes

Polenta Rice Cakes

From: Master chef Michael Rech, California Culinary Academy, San Francisco.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1⁄3 cup California wild rice
1⁄3 cup whiskey
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
2⁄3 cup water
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 oz. (¼ cup) grated Parmesan cheese
2⁄3 cup milk
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
to taste, salt
1 Tbsp. chopped basil
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

In medium saucepan, combine wild rice, whiskey, chicken stock and mushrooms and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until rice is tender and puffed, about 50 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Line a 9"x9" metal or glass pan with plastic wrap; set aside. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk together cornmeal and Parmesan and whisk into boiling water. Add milk, butter and salt. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

Fold in wild rice and basil. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, covering with another layer of plastic wrap. Smooth into an even layer, about 3/4"- to 1"-thick. Chill until firm, about 6 hours. When ready to serve, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over mediumhigh heat. Cut polenta into desired shapes and saute, working in batches, until golden brown and heated through. Serve immediately or keep warm on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven.

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