SEATTLE — Do you love cheese? Then this recipe is for you! Astra Hotel in South Lake Union has a cheese lover's dream on the menu.
Astra Hotel Executive Chef Kalen Schramke joined us to share a recipe for stracciatella cheese with polenta.
Stracciatella Cheese with Buttermilk Polenta Cakes
SEATTLE Otium Grill & Greens | Kalen Scharmke
A traditional Italian cheese made from pulled mozzarella curds mixed with fresh cream. This cheese is the inside of the burrata. Served with a crispy fried savory Polenta Cake.
For Stracciatella :
- 1/2 pound of mozzarella curd
- 5 tablespoons salt
- 2 gallons chlorinated water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Drain the curds. Place the drained curds in a large glass or stainless steel bowl and set aside.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine salt and water to dissolve. Heat water to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, then remove from heat and ladle the hot water over the curds to cover completely.
- Let sit until soft, about 2–5 minutes, then use a rubber spatula to press the curds together into a single mass. Press and stir the curds until they stretch and look shiny. Pull a piece of curd away from the mass and stretch it into a thin string. Transfer the string to the cream in a separate bowl. Repeat this process until all of the curds have been stretched and transferred to the cream. Using clean kitchen scissors, cut the curds into 1-inch pieces. Stir to combine and refrigerate until completely cool.
For Polenta Cakes:
- 1 cup cornmeal plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
In a large pan, bring water and buttermilk to a boil. Season with salt and gradually add in the cornmeal stirring with a wooden spoon until well combined. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until mixture thickens. Once the polenta has thickened (approximately 30 minutes), check for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Then pour the mixture into Cake pan rubbed with olive oil. Add a layer of Saran wrap on top and smooth it down directly on top of the polenta. Place into the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours to set up. When you are ready to make the polenta cakes, lift the polenta out of the pan. Remove the Saran wrap and place onto a cutting board. Cut the polenta into six pieces and dust with the excess cornmeal. Place a sauté pan over medium heat and add approximately 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, place the polenta circles into the pan and cook until a golden crust has formed on both sides, turning as little as possible.
Top the warm polenta cake with stracciatella cheese fresh ground black pepper and good olive oil.