One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Creamy Polenta and Mushrooms

When I saw Ann's (Thibeault's Table) mushrooms over polenta a few weeks ago, I knew that was something I would love.  I have had sauteed mushrooms before, and I have had polenta before but never combined as a main course.  Following Ann's techniques, I ended up with a meal that left me sighing over its memory for hours after.

For the creamy polenta, I used a ratio of 4:1 liquid to fine cornmeal.  Wanting the flavor of the polenta to still shine through, I used a base of half chicken stock, half water.  The liquid was brought to a simmer, lightly salted, and the cornmeal was whisked in in a steady stream.  Added too quickly, the polenta will clump up.  Once the polenta had thickened up, I whisked in a nob of butter.  The consistency was perfect.

To top the polenta, I used a mixture of baby Bellas and button mushrooms, sliced thickly and sauteed in butter.  Once in the pan, I left the mushrooms alone - no stirring for several minutes - to let them saute and caramelize.  At that point, I stirred them, seasoning with salt and pepper and finely sliced sage leaves.  To create a sauce, I added Marsala to the pan (about 1/4 cup), let that reduce to an almost syrup-y state, then stirred in about 1/4 cup of chicken stock and let that reduce a bit until it was nice and thick.  The sauce was also finished off with a small nob of butter.

This would make an excellent side dish to a roast beef or even a roasted chicken.  But it also made for an amazing meatless main dish.  Of course, for it to be truly vegetarian, a vegetable stock could be substituted for the chicken stock.  So delicious!  Thank you for the inspiration, Ann!

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Thank you once again to Michael for hosting Foodie Friday! Please join me in drooling over the dishes of all the other participants!!


SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

This looks so beautifully earthy and delicious!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

I almost licked the computer! Oh my, this dish is one of those culinary creations I'll dream about!
This will ABSOLUTELY be on the menu next week. I'll link it back to you.
Thanks for a great and future favorite recipe!

Jacqueline said...

OH, I have had so many fabulous restaurant polentas and this looks just like them. I would love to make this, and I might just make it the main dish.

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

I have never tried polenta, but this dish looks so tasty.

Mary said...

I could SO eat every bite of this &'s a perfect dinner for me with just a glass of wine :-) Beautiful photos!

La Table De Nana said...

Your mushrooms look done to the perfection I love!

Southerncook said...

This looks delicious. Mushrooms and polenta, my DH will love this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

Linda said...

Girl this looks "slap yo mama" good...OMG...
A bowl of pure comfort!

Tiffiny Felix said...

Oh Yum! I love polenta and I love mushrooms! Sign me up! *:)*

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

I'm going to love this!!!


Rich said...

I have never made polenta, and am slightly ashamed of the fact, but I need to, and I need to soon. Especially after seeing this - mushrooms are one of my favorite things on this earth, and this looks like it highlights them wonderfully.

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