Monday, October 29, 2007

Kate's Creamy Mushroom Polenta

The woman who is my boss, who leads the organization for which I work, is an amazing woman in many, many ways. She runs and leads a national non-profit organization and has a family with two small children. And she leaves work at the end of each day to go shopping so she can cook dinner for her family. I am constantly in awe of her, for so many different reasons. One of which is that the woman can cook! I have tasted some of her dishes and man they are GOOD. So I am thrilled that she submitted a recipe, which I am very excited to make. This is what she cooked for her partner last night.... And to those who say food has nothing to do with love or romance, I say you've never eaten like this before.

Kate's Creamy Mushroom Polenta

Serves four to six

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion—diced
3 cloves garlic—minced
1 to 2 pounds of your favorite mushrooms
½ cup Madera or red wine
1 pound baby or regular French green beans—bite sized pieces or cut in half
2 tbsp each fresh thyme and oregano—chopped
1 ½ cups dried polenta, or a mixture of 1 cup polenta and ½ cup corn meal
1 cup Parmesan, Monterey Jack, or Fontina cheese—grated

Bring six cups or so of salted water to boil—add polenta, stirring frequently.

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are soft and beginning to brown. Add in wine and cook another minute or so. Add green beans and herbs and good salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook until beans are tender, 4-5 minutes or so.

In the meantime you are stirring the polenta—add a tablespoon or so of butter or olive oil. The polenta should be creamy and smooth; add more water if it gets too thick. The polenta should be done in around 15 minutes. Add cheese, reserving a handful, when polenta is nearly done, with another tablespoon of butter or oil and mix thoroughly and quickly.

Spoon polenta into bowls and top with mushrooms. A bit of the reserved cheese can go on top.

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