Recipe · Sides

Creamy Polenta

I forgot my camera at my parents’ place after my sister’s wedding (which shows how much of a hangover I had), so sadly, here’s a recipe with no pictures. And trust me, the pictures would have been splendid, because bright yellow polenta compliments the dark, purplish mushrooms beautifully. I guess I have an excuse to make this again once I get the camera back!

  • 1 Cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Cup chicken stock
  • 2 Cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup diced shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb. mushrooms (portobello & shitake work well), thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives
  • 1 sprig thyme, leave left on branch
  1. Heat butter in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add chopped shallots and two cloves of the garlic, chopped.
  2. After 5 minutes or so, add mushrooms (in batched if you pan is not large enough). Saute until soft and mouth-wateringly fragrant. You may feel like you need to add more butter at first, but hold out because the mushrooms will release water as they cook down.
  3. Pour cream, stock, and milk into a pot and drop in the sprig of thyme and a whole clove of garlic. Bring to a boil.
  4. Once liquid begins to boil, remove from heat and fish out thyme and garlic to discard. Let sit and cool for a few minutes before putting pot back on heat and bringing to a simmer.
  5. Add in polenta, whisking continuously (unless you have biceps the size of balloons, you want to use quick-cooking polenta) for about 5 minutes or until the polenta is thick and get all caught up in your whisk.
  6. Switch to using a fork to stir. Add in mushrooms and chives and mix together. Salt generously and pepper lightly. Take a few quick bites without anyone noticing, then serve with a great big serving spoon.

This polenta is sublime with spicy sausage on the side. One of my favorite dinners. Enjoy!

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