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Finger Food with Jolanta – Polenta Bites with caramelised onions and shiitake

Serves 15


100g polenta

400ml water

20g parmesan

20g butter

1 tsp salt

2 red onions, sliced

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp olive oil


15 shiitake mushrooms

20ml oil

salt, pepper 

50ml white wine vinegar

20ml water

20g sugar

3 whole dry cloves

1 star anise

piece of ginger



  • Start by making the polenta. Grease a baking tray and set aside. Then in a medium saucepan bring the water, salt and butter to the boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat to medium low. Continue whisking the polenta until it becomes thick and creamy, around 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the parmesan. Pour the polenta into the prepared tray and cover and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes to set.
  • Sauté the mushrooms in the oil, drain well and season. Boil the vinegar, water, sugar and spices (clove, star anise, ginger) and pour over the mushrooms. 
  • To make the caramelised onions, heat a large frying pan over a medium low heat and add the olive oil before adding the onions and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes before adding the balsamic and brown sugar. Cook for a further 10 minutes until caramelised. Set aside.
  • Cut the polenta into bite size squares. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add oil. Once the pan has come to heat add the polenta squares and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
  • To assemble the polenta bites top the polenta squares with a small amount of caramelised onion and top with the marinated shiitake mushroom



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