Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mushroom Ragout with Creamy Polenta

Creamy polenta goodness.

Back in the day, when we were first starting "Meatless Monday," I found a bunch of vegetarian recipes I wanted to try and made a list. One of those was a mushroom ragout with creamy polenta. I don't actually know what a ragout is and I promptly lost the recipe. I still wanted to try it though, so I Googled, got the basic gist and made it for dinner last week. Initially CCO was not on board because of previous bad experiences with polenta. I think this might have made him change his mind.

Eat Rating: Awesome. I think this is going to become an MM staple.
Difficulty: Easy. Two pans. A knife. Some mushrooms.

Adapted from "Creamy Polenta" at Simply Recipes, Wild Mushroom Ragout from Martha Stewart

4 cups water
1 cup coarse cornmeal
4 tbsp butter
6 oz. (3/4 cup) cream cheese
Salt to taste

Mushroom Ragout
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3.5 oz. sliced button mushrooms
3.5 oz slice shitake mushrooms
3.5 oz porcini mushrooms (LN: You might have to buy these dry and reconstitute)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine (LN: I used a Pinot Noir, but anything comparably full-bodied would work)
Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Whisk in the cornmeal, reduce heat to a simmer and add in butter. Cook five minutes or until the mixture appears to be the consistency of thick grits. Turn off heat, cover and set aside.

In a skillet, sautee onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes until translucent. Add mushrooms and sautee until they have cooked down. Add the rosemary and cook for 1 minute until thoroughly mixed. Add the red wine and continue to cook until most of the wine has been incorporated. You want the mushrooms mixture to be the consistency of a thick sauce. Once it has reached the desired consistency, remove from heat.

Return to the grits and add the cream cheese, whisking thoroughly until fully incorporated.

Top a large spoonful of the polenta with the mushroom mix. Garnish with parsley if desired.

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