Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Corn and Grits Timbales/Stuffed Mushrooms/Chick Pea Salad

I always insisted I’d get around to trying the recipes in my old issues of Gourmet. The recipe for the corn and grits timbales has been sitting around since 1986, so I guess it was time. My husband wasn’t expecting Corn and Grits Timbales when he walked in the door (but he ate 2 ½ of them-happily, I might add). The plates I served dinner on were purchased many years ago in Providence, Rhode Island. They are quite heavy, and as such, I don’t use them often, though I think they make for lovely presentation.

The recipe for the chick peas salad is in my archives HERE.

The stuffed mushrooms come from Mastering The Art Of French Cooking.

For the Corn And Grits Timbales:

1 ¾ cups heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup polenta grits (not instant)
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
½ cup corn kernels

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F. Fill a pan with enough water to accommodate the ramekins (measure beforehand) and place it in the oven to warm.

In a small saucepan combine 1 cup of the cream with the garlic, ½ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon of the pepper and the polenta grits. Bring the liquid to a boil over moderate heat and simmer, stirring for twenty minutes. In a bowl, combine the rest of the cream, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Combine well. Divide the grits mixture between 4 well buttered ramekins and sprinkle it with the parmesan and corn. Top with the custard mixture and carefully stir to incorporate.

Bake in the hot water for 20-25 minutes (mine took closer to 30) or until a tester comes out clean. Remove the moulds from the water and let sit five minutes. Run a knife around the edges and unmold on warmed plates.

For the Mushrooms

12 fresh mushroom caps (I used crimini)
2-3 tablespoons melted butter
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons finely minced onions
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons minced shallots
Stems from the mushrooms, finely minced and squeezed dry in a dish towel
¼ cup Madeira
3 tablespoons fine, white dry breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated Swiss cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons minced parsley
½ teaspoon tarragon
salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush the mushroom caps with melted butter. Place them, hollow-side up in a roasting pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté the onions in butter and oil for 3-4 minutes without browning. Add the shallots and mushroom stems. Cook over moderately high heat for about 8 minutes or until the mushroom pieces begin to separate. Add the Madeira and cook off quickly. Remove from heat and add to bread crumbs, cheese, tarragon and seasonings. A teaspoon at a time, add the cream until mixture is moistened but stiff enough to hold its shape on the spoon.

Fill the caps and top each with a pinch of Swiss cheese and a few drops of melted butter.

Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven (upper third) for 15 or 20 minutes or until caps are tender and stuffing has browned lightly on top.

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