Thursday, September 20, 2007

Soft Polenta w/ Sauteed Wild Mushrooms

Nobody was hurt during the writing of this post.

Believe me, being obsessive-compulsive isn't always a bad thing, especially when it comes to make the kind of dish that requires your full obsessive attention, you might want to stop your medication for the day while preparing this dish. I did when i found beautiful wild mushrooms at the market this morning, Alice Waters would have been proud of me!

Like risotto, making polenta isn't for the faint of heart, it takes quick decision making and serious multitasks abilities like being able to reach for your glass of chilled Pouilly-Fuisse with your left hand while stirring the pot with your right hand (Pouilly-Fuisse is not an ingredient in the recipe but if you are the one designated to stand in front of the stove sweating, you might as well do it in style.)

When the ingredients are few, technique is everything, by following this steps you will feel like a Toreador in front of the tamed Bull. The Star is YOU my friend!

Ole and Enjoy!

(Disclaimer: After tasting this, you will want to change your last wish to : be buried in soft polenta topped with wild mushrooms.)

Soft Polenta w/ Sauteed Wild Mushrooms

For the polenta:

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup Polenta

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon mascarpone
  • 4 tablespoon Parmegiano-Reggiano, grated

  • Salt to taste

For the wild mushrooms:

  • 1 1/2 lbs mixed Wild mushrooms (chanterelle, cremini, oyster etc...), cleaned and sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 1/2 bunch of parsley, washed and chopped

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Parmegiano-reggiano shavings

  • White truffle oil (optional)

  1. In a heavy-bottom pot, place the milk and the water and bring to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat to medium low and slowly add the Polenta while whisking constantly.

  3. Reduce the heat, switch to a wooden spoon and keep stirring.

  4. Stir, Stir, Stir

  5. Stir, Stir, Stir

  6. Don't let the bottom scorch now...

  7. Stir, Stir, Stir

  8. Heat a large sauteed pan over high heat and add the olive oil

  9. Stir, Stir, Stir

  10. Sautee the mushrooms, work in batches if necessary

  11. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper

  12. After stirring for 20 minutes the polenta is ready

  13. Remove from the heat and add the butter, the mascarpone and the parmegiano

  14. Season to taste with salt

  15. Stir, Stir Stir

  16. Reserve the polenta and cover with plastic wrap to keep it soft

  17. Add the garlic to the mushroom and sautee a minute more

  18. Add the butter and the parsley and mix well. Remove from heat

  19. Serve soft polenta in shallow plates topped with sauteed wild mushrooms

  20. Drizzle with hot demi glace reduction if using

  21. Top each plate with some parmegiano-reggiano shavings

  22. Drizzle each plate with some white truffle oil

  23. Serve

  24. Lick the plate

  25. Do the dishes

  26. Write me a thank you note

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