Have you ever had polenta? Have you ever thought about bringing it to your tailgate? Well if you haven’t you should. It has everything you need for a great tailgating dish. It tastes great and will feed a crowd of any size! Here is an Italian Sausage and Sundried Tomato Polenta Cake that makes a perfect tailgating main meal or appetizer.
Polental is a cooked mixture of cornmeal that has been cooled, cut into cakes, and then fried until crisp. Without any additional flavorings, the dish is rather bland. Don’t look at this as a problem though. This is more of an opportunity to flavor the dish in a variety of different ways. For this recipe, sweet and spicy Italian sausage is combined with onions, shallots, and sun dried tomatoes. Parmesan cheese and a little bit of white wine are added. This creates a perfect blend of Italian flavors that can be finished off with your favorite marinara sauce. For serving, it is your choice whether to serve small pieces as an appetizer of large squares as a main dish. You may choose to fry over a large propane burner or a camping stove.
Serves 10 as a main dish.
1/2 pound mild Italian bulk sausage
1 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup drained and chopped sundried tomatoes.
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
32 ounces chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 1/4 cup plain yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
extra cornmeal for dredging
In a medium sized frying pan, cook sausage, onions, and shallots, over medium heat until sausage is cooked and onions and shallots have softened. Remove from heat and stir in sundried tomatoes and chives. Set aside.
In medium sized sauce pan add chicken stock, wine, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Sprinkle cornmeal ,1/4 cup at a time ,into hot stock mixture, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. When all the cornmeal is added, reduce heat to medium low and cook polenta, stirring frequently. When polenta mixture resembles a thick porridge, about 15 minutes, remove from heat. Immediately stir in parmesan cheese and butter. Stir until smooth. Fold in cooked sausage and tomato mixture.
Spray a 9×13 inch pan with non stick cooking spray. Spoon warm polenta into pan. Use the back of a wet spoon to smooth polenta out evenly in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until polenta is cool and firm to the touch. (you may chill polenta overnight if you wish)
Transfer in a cooler to your tailgate. When ready to cook, cut polenta into 10 triangles. Dredge each triangles in a thing layer of cornmeal. Add about a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a frying pan. Over medium heat on a propane burner, fry polenta until brown and crispy on each side. Serve with your favorite warm marinara sauce.