This Week on Melly’s Kitchen “Rich Polenta Cakes with Mushroom Sauce”~By Melanie Klann of Newsome Harlow Wines

Murphys, CA….This week on Melly’s Kitchen, Melanie Klann talks Appetizers…..“For me, the reason appetizers are so amazing is that every piece is sacred, especially made for each guest. It is easy to make a big tri-tip and boil some potatoes for 80 people, but appetizers are an individual creation. One bite can have so many different textures and flavors; sweet, salty, spicy, creamy, and on and on.” As a caterer, Melanie feels that creating appetizers or small plates is a great way to help her clients please all of their guests. There need to worry if some one doesn’t eat pork, is allergic to fish or isn’t eating carbs. Melanie shares her knowledge of ayurvedic traditions, “ By incorporating 5 or more sensations into one meal is more satisfying to the palate, and people tend to eat less, but enjoy themselves more!” Her recipe for Rich Polenta Cakes with Mushroom Sauce is enclosed for your tasting pleasure….

Rich Polenta Cakes with Mushroom Sauce
2007 Syrah

* 2 egg yolks
* 1 whole egg
* 8 ounces cream cheese
* 1 cup prepared polenta
* 1/4 cup bleu cheese
* Pastry dough

Preheat over to 350°.

Mix all ingredients except the pastry dough in a medium bowl. Line the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan with pastry dough. Bake for about 45 minutes or until fluffy and set in the middle (middle will be soft). Top with mushroom sauce, enjoy while cake still warm.

Mushroom Sauce

* 1 1 ounce package fried shiitake mushrooms
* 1 1/2 cups hot water
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 6 bacon slices, minced
* 3 shallots, mince
* 4 ounces fresh shiitake or button mushrooms, sliced
* 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
* 1 cup beef stock or canned unsalted broth
* 1/4 cup red wine
* 1 cup whole milk
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 2/3 freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* Fresh Italian parsley, minced
* Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until fat renders, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add shallots to bacon in skillet and saute 1 minute. Add dried and fresh mushrooms and rosemary; saute 3 minutes. Add wine, stock and mushroom soaking liquid. Boil until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 15-20 minutes.

Add milk and simmer until thick, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter, stir until melted. Mix in 2/3 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over polenta cake and garnish with parsley.