Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Polenta with Mushroom Sauce

I was looking forward to making this dish, but had a hard time finding the correct corn meal. Both of my Italian cookbooks call for coarse-ground cornmeal, which I couldn't find (after asking a friend, I now know where to look for next time!), so I went searching the Internet for a basic polenta recipe.
My family and I love mushrooms, and I was excited about using porcini mushrooms for the first time! This sauce would also be fabulous on pasta!
Giada De-Laurentiis--Food Network
6 cups water (*I used 3 cups water and 3 cups milk for a creamier polenta)
2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup corn meal
3 tbl. butter
Boil liquid in a large heavy saucepan. Add the salt. Gradually whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat; add the butter and stir until melted.
Mushroom Sauce
"The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian" Jeff Smith
1 ounce package dried porcini mushrooms (found in the produce section of most grocery stores)
1 cup hot water
2 cups veal stock (*I used one cup chicken stock and 1 cup beef stock)
2 tbl. butter
4 tbl. flour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbl. olive oil
1/2 pound fresh morel mushrooms or white meadow mushrooms (*I used a basic white button mushroom)
1/4 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
Soak the porcini in 1 cup hot water for 45 minutes. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the flour to make a roux. Whisk the stock gradually into the butter mixture and stir until thickened and smooth. Drain and chop the porcini and other variety of mushrooms. In a large skillet, add the oil and heat before adding the crushed garlic. Add the mushrooms and saute. Cover the pan and sweat the mushrooms. Deglaze the pan with wine and add the sauce. Stir gently to combine and simmer 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, scoop a large spoonful of polenta (it will be somewhat firm) onto a plate and pour a ladle-ful of mushroom sauce over top.
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