On one occasion, I was chatting with my dear husband and reminiscing those days when we lived in LA. “So what do you miss from LA, dear?” I asked him and he simply answered, “lots of things… but mostly food and friends”. I couldn’t agree more when it comes to food. I love SF for a lot of reasons, but LA comes first when we’re talking about food. Lucky for me, my ex- boss, along with my teammates, are foodies. Almost every week, my ex-boss goes out and tries new places; then shares her experience to us the next Monday. As far as I can remember, she has visited all kinds of stores, from moms and pops stores to fun fancy places for teenagers.
As for friends… we love gatherings especially when Big Game day happens. It’s a fun excuse to get together and cheered our favorite team. Everyone is welcomed, including the kiddos. One thing I’ve noticed – the Big Game day isn’t just about the game – it’s about the food, too! No matter what team we root for or how it currently stands in the league, there’s one element that surely every fan can get excited about: the food. Fun, food, friendship on a Big Game day, how exciting does it sound? It’s completely Supper Bowl, don’t you think?
There’s an unwritten rules when it comes to Big Game day. Each year, we take turn to host this event. The setup is always as simple as possible, because food is the centerpiece… and of course, the game itself. It’s a potluck party and food always comes in small portions. Having said that; the scrumptious appetizers and easy access finger foods fill the potluck table.
I made these polenta crostini with mushroom on top for our annual Supper Bowl event. I got the idea back in LA, when we had meetings outside the building and tried creamy polenta with truffled mushrooms for the first time. It totally changed my life since then. It’s so delicious and I could totally dig into that for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Ironically, I was not a fan of polenta before. For me, polenta is quite tasteless and flavorless; but they managed to turn it into… comfort food!
Today, I can still clearly picture the polenta with mushrooms. Well, who can say no to that? I started browsing around for ideas and came up with polenta crostini with mushroom sauce, small pieces of toasted polenta topped with mushroom as an appetizer or canapé.
So what makes this dish special? The polenta is cooked and cheese is added, before chilled and crisped in the oven, making them into perfect bites of crunchy crostini. Who needs a French baguette for crostini when you can have polenta crostini?
And let’s not forget the mushroom sauce. I used Hearty Burgundy from Gallo Family Vineyards that combines mouth-watering richness with flavors which range from dark berry to red plum. Mushroom + hearty burgundy sounds so dreamy, don’t you think? It’s dark, divine, and delicious.
Prepping this appetizer is slightly annoying in the amount of time it takes, especially polenta, but it’s not difficult. AND! I wouldn’t be making it 3 times in a month if it wasn’t worth it in the end. Say hello to your newest showstopper appetizer and click here for more football finger foods.
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- Polenta Crostini:
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup fine grain polenta
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Freshly ground coarse black pepper
- 2 tbs minced fresh thyme leaves
- 300 gr brown beech mushroom
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tbs oil
- 1 tbs butter
- ½ tbs fresh thyme
- ½ cup Hearty Burgundy Gallo Family Wine
- Salt & black pepper, to taste
- Polenta Crostini: In a heavy saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add salt and reduce the heat to the medium. Add the polenta gradually, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk for 5 minutes as the mixture bubbles. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to come away from the sides of the pan, about 10 minutes.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, thyme and ½ teaspoon pepper and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Invert a rimmed baking sheet on a countertop and cover the surface with parchment paper. Spread the polenta out with a spatula into a smooth, even layer. Cover the polenta with another sheet of parchment paper. Place another baking sheet, right side up, on top of the parchment. With 2 hands, press down evenly on the top baking sheet until the polenta is ¼ inch thick. The idea is to sandwich the polenta between 2 flat surfaces. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Invert the baking sheets together. Remove the top baking sheet and the top layer of parchment paper. The smoother side of the polenta will be facing up.
- Cut the polenta into triangle/rectangular. Transfer them to baking sheets, spacing them ½-inch apart.
- Bake the crostini until hot throughout and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes.
- Turn the oven to broil and broil the crostini about 8 inches from the heat source until crispy and golden brown on top, about 3-5 minutes. Keep them warm or at room temperature.
- Mushroom Sauce: Add the oil and melt the butter over high heat in a large skillet.
- When the butter starts to foam, add the shallot and saute for 2 minutes to soften.
- Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until mushrooms are nice and golden.
- Pour in Hearty Burgundy and stir, scraping bottoms of the pan.
- Let it cook for several minutes and stir to evaporate the alcohol.
- To serve: spoon mushrooms sauce over the polenta crostini and garnish with fresh thyme.
Don’t forget to check these amazing recipes for the big event!
- Bacon and Cheese Pretzel Bites by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Bacon Wrapped Bison Burger Sliders by Nosh My Way
- Baked Southwestern Eggrolls by Flavor Mosaic
- Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Sweet Potato Fries by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Cheesy Baked Arancini by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Chorizo Cheese Dip by Casa de Crews
- Cuban Sandwich Sliders by Recipe for Perfection
- Everything Bagel Breadsticks & Smoked Salmon Dip by Foxes Love Lemons
- Kicked Up Texas Caviar by Ruffles & Truffles
- Mini Mexican Tarts by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Mexican Chicken Meatballs with Queso by Curious Cuisiniere
- Philadelphia Cheesesteak Dip by Family Foodie
- Pizza Quinoa Bites by Alida’s Kitchen
- Polenta Crostini with Mushroom Sauce by Brunch with Joy
- Rosemary White Bean Dip by Magnolia Days
- Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Sausage & Caramelized Onion Pita Pizza by The Messy Baker
- Spicy Sticky Chicken Wings and Onion Rings by Nik Snacks
- Spicy Stuffed Mushrooms by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Sweet & Spicy Mango Meatballs by Peanut Butter and Peppers
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Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.