Archive for the ‘polenta’ Category

i made this when i was sick and the weather was cold. it warmed me up and cured me nearly instantly. perhaps it as the sugar rush from the corn, or the magical healing properties of the mushrooms, or the mold in the shropshire cheese; but i felt infinitely better within only a few hours.

the basic preparation for polenta is 1 cup of polenta to three cups of liquid and about 1t of salt. i normally substitute chicken stock for water, unless i’m serving the polenta with meat. with the mushrooms i like a bit of the chicken-y-ness.

there is a trick to cooking polenta, but it is easy to prepare properly once you have committed yourself to a couple basic principals. first, you must bring the liquid to a low boil, and sprinkle the polenta in, combining it furiously with a whisk. dumping it in all at once and using a wooden spoon will result in a lumpy consistency, a result nearly impossible to remedy. never mind the hapless, pitied stares from disappointed faces around the table. the second trick is that once the polenta and liquid are combined, you must switch to a wooden spoon and stir nearly constantly. if it sits on the bottom of a hot pan without movement you will end up with, you guessed it… chunks. cook the polenta until it is smooth and pulls away from the edges of the pan. at this point you can add some cream, butter or grated cheese.

for this dish i added a bit of cream or half and half, i do not recall which, and some butter. i rarely eat corn or butter, but when i make polenta i do not compromise. i will add a few tablespoons to a recipe of 1c polenta to 3c liquid.

put the polenta aside and slice the mushrooms. put about 2T each of butter and olive oil in a stainless skillet and heat until hot. put in the mushrooms and let them sear, stir as they brown. when they are brown and tender, add salt and pepper and some chopped italian parsley.

stir the polenta. if you need to, add a dash of milk or liquid to smooth it out, and serve it in a shallow pasta bowl. dump on the mushrooms and crumble cheese on top, i love this shropshire blue [it’s basically stilton] and it’s safron-annato color. rejoice and mend!

please excuse the poor photo quality, they were taken hastily, lazily, and in an infirmed state with my iphone…

polenta portabellas



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