#6: polenta bites with caramelized mushrooms

this is a recipe i had seen a couple times and thought “i’ve never made polenta, maybe i should try”, and since i was already doing a bunch of new recipes anyways, why not?!

a side note, i didn’t actually “make” the polenta. i bought it pre-cooked. sorry, i didn’t have time for that. maybe a bettter statement would have been “i’ve never worked with polenta”. also, my instructions are a touch different since i didn’t make the polenta and i kind of guessed on the amount of cream used.

2 c. heavy cream

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1 t. ground salt

½ t. ground nutmeg

1 c. polenta (i used one “roll”)

1 c. grated parmesan cheese

in a large saucepan, ½ c. of cream and add the polenta. the polenta will be in the roll shape, and will break down as it is heated, however it will need some help with the breaking down. add cream as needed to help the polenta break down. cnce the polenta is thick, smooth, and creamy, add the salt, nutmeg, and parmesan cheese. keep warm.

3 T. olive oil

½ lb. button mushrooms

salt

black pepper

2 T. unsalted butter

1 T. minced garlic

1 t. fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 T. lemon juice

2 T. fresh parsley, chopped

in a medium skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. when the oil is hot, add mushrooms in a single layer. do not stir; allow them to sizzle while the bottoms caramelize. after 2 minutes, toss, and season with salt and pepper. continue to cook without stirring for 5 minutes. add the butter and cook until it begins to brown, then add garlic. continue to cook. add thyme and cook for 10 more seconds. add lemon juice and cook until liquid evaporates. add the parsley. stir and remove from heat.

while this recipe is meant to be served as a tapas or appetizer, you can also serve it as a side. create a bed of polenta on the plate and spoon mushrooms over the polenta. enjoy together.

this was an interesting dish–i think i probably spent the most time on it because i was worried about the polenta not actually breaking down. thankfully, it did. and, i have a compliment from matt that it is the best polenta he has ever tasted.

are you inspired to work with an ingredient that was previously foreign to you?

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