Polenta Porridge With Wild (Or Not so Much) Mushroom Ragout

“Lovely dish shared from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (www.southernexposure.com) in their winter email. These folks value genetic diversity in our gardens & have many "tried & true" old varieties of vegetable seed that so well in our southern climates. They are also advocates of sustainable agricultural practices. Fits into my preferred gardening methods. This recipe is adapted from Anson Mills' directions for a whole meal polenta porridge with wild mushroom ragout. Delicious, nutritious & filling. Serves 4 for main course & 6 as a first course. Can't think of a finer winter supper than this with a side of sauteed kale (or braised turnip greens). PS - Totally acceptable to sub whatever mushrooms you have on board - in PNW, fall would give us big white chantrelles (never a worm!) & beautiful boletes; here & there springs unveils the crenulated (morels.”
READY IN:
1hr 40mins
SERVES:
4-6
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. For the polenta: Place the polenta and water in a heavy-bottomed 2 1/2-quart saucepan and stir to combine. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the first starch takes hold, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are soft and hold their shape on a spoon, about an hour. Whisk in the salt, pepper, butter, and Parmesan. Cover and keep warm. (The polenta may be transferred to a bowl, covered, and set over barely simmering water. If necessary, thin the polenta with hot water before serving.).
  2. For the ragout: While the polenta is cooking, pour the cream into a second 2 1/2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and simmer over low heat until it is thick and reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the thyme, nutmeg, and Parmesan. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over high heat, 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the cremini. Sear and toss intermittently until the mushrooms release their juices and begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the wild mushrooms, shallots, and garlic and continue to toss over high heat until the mushrooms are tender, 2 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. Add the reserved cream and parsley and stir to coat. Taste for seasoning.
  4. To serve: Scoop the polenta onto warm appetizer plates, leaving an indentation in the top. Spoon the mushroom ragout over. Serve immediately.

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