Never mind why I was watching television at three o’clock in the afternoon, on a weekday no less. On the show The View From The Bay, Executive Chef Ken Frank of La Toque Restaurant in Napa cooked up fresh corn polenta with chanterelles and I just had to make it.
I’m amazed that the “polenta” is just fresh corn with a bit of butter and salt. That’s it. Nothing else. That made the sweetness and freshness of the corn really stand out.
Made a few tweaks to the recipe as usual – I used the new soy-free Earth Balance vegan butter (taste just like butter), swapped out the chanterelles for oyster mushrooms and added sautéed spinach. So simple and so summery.
Fresh Corn “Polenta” with Oyster Mushrooms
Recipe adapted from The View of the Bay episode with Ken Frank of La Toque Restaurant
2 ears fresh bi-color (part white and part yellow) corn
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh oyster mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 ounces fresh baby spinach
Heat a saucepan to hot, add a little bit of oil and sauté the spinach until just wilted. Set aside.
Then sauté the oyster mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter and season with salt. Set that aside.
Shuck the corn. Over a large bowl, grate the kernels off of the cob using the coarse side of the box grater, resulting in a wet, coarse pulpy mixture.
Since I have a small grater, I broke the corn in half to make it easier to grate. (Although the corn that I got from the farmer’s market had like the smallest kernels I’ve ever seen. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough corn grated.)
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a pan and add the corn mixture, season with salt. Simmer over low heat and stir to prevent browning for about 2-3 minutes. It’s ready when it just starts to thicken and set.
Divide the corn “polenta” between two plates, top with the spinach and mushrooms and serve.