Polenta Corn Cakes With Wild Mushroom Pan Roast
Roast or broil the ears of corn until lightly browned. Allow to cool, then cut the corn off the cob. Combine the milk and cornmeal in a saucepan. Add the 2 tablespoons butter and simmer a full 20 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to keep the mixture from sticking or burning. If the polenta becomes too thick before the 20 minutes is up, stir in several tablespoons of cold water to loosen it, and continue cooking. At the end of 20 minutes the mixture should be fairly thick. Fold in the cheese and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and pour into a buttered 8-by-8-inch cake pan. using a spatula, spread the polenta into a thick, even layer. Cool and then refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before unmolding and cutting into triangles or 2-inch squares. (Uncut polenta can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days.)
To prepare the mushrooms, heat the 1 tablespoon butter in a sauté pan, add the mushrooms and shallots, and cook 5 or 6 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the Chicken or Vegetable Stock and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and add the chopped thyme and salt and pepper.
NOTE Just before serving, place the cut polenta on a cookie sheet in a preheated 350 F oven for 10 to 15 minutes to warm, then, if necessary, brown it under a broiler 2 minutes more. To serve, place two pieces of polenta on each plate and spoon some of the mushroom pan roast over them. Garnish with toasted walnuts or pecans.