Monday, October 10, 2011

Creamy Polenta with Parmesan and Tomato-Mushroom Ragout

I suddenly had a craving for polenta. Not the kind in the tube I usually make, the slice and fry. Although it's pretty good all fried up with butter and all, but this time I wanted a soft, creamy polenta, to go alongside a nice, grilled steak.

Lot of recipes out there for polenta, fast or slow. White cornmeal, yellow, coarse, fine. I went with the sort of slow recipe, gives me a little more time to screw it up!  And I had yellow cornmeal in the pantry. Probably from the last time I had to have polenta and never got around to it. I made a few adaptions to the recipe, and topped it with a mushroom ragout. So good. Sort of like Cream of Wheat hot breakfast cereal but with corn flavor and it even had the same lumps like my Cream of Wheat. I am really lousy at constant stirring, so we all got used to the lumps.

We loved it. A lot. Even the lumps. And it was perfect with the skirt steaks.




Creamy Polenta with Parmesan and Tomato-Mushroom Ragout
Source: original polenta recipe by Nancy Grubin - Bon App├ętit, June 2000
Adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Printable Recipe

3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter

Tomato-Mushroom Ragout:

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, fine dice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 8-oz packages sliced white button or cremini mushrooms (or both)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup Madeira
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, for drizzling

For the ragout, melt a tablespoon of butter in with a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown. Add the tomatoes. Simmer about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add the Madeira, scrape all the bits from the pan, then add chicken stock and simmer for about 5 minutes more.

For the polenta, bring the broth, milk, salt and pepper to boil in a saucepan over high heat. Gradually whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until mixture is very thick and creamy, whisking frequently, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, then whisk in the butter. Remove from heat.

Spoon the polenta into plates, top with fresh grated Parmesan, the ragout and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve.

21 comments:

  1. Oh, does this look fantastic! SO appetizing!

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  2. That sounds really good Carol! ...and when I was a kid, I always asked Ma to make lumps in my Cream of Wheat-yum!:@)

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  3. I love polenta and mushrooms. I don't have any Madeira but I bet I could use Marsala instead. Excellent dish!!

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  4. This looks so good, Carol! I love polenta! I discovered it when I lived in France and it was a sort of substitute for my cravings for grits! lol Happy week!...hugs..Debbie

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  5. I love polenta, especially fried; Howard laughs at the fancy name, he calls it cornmeal mush!

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  6. Great combination of ingredients!Well done,dear Carol!xxx

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  7. I love polenta, but always when someone else makes it. I'll try this recipe, because you have me wanting polenta now and we will have steak sometime this week, after eating our way through the Thanksgiving poultry.

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  8. I am drooling, and I love polenta!

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  9. Perfect combination of flavors!

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  10. Nice, its been a while since I had polenta. When I did have it, I was eating it almost everyday. I need to replenish my stock, thanks for the reminder!

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  11. first had polenta in romania, where it was simply just translated as cornmeal porridge. polenta sounds so much more posh, and everything looks fab, esp with the mushroom ragout!

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  12. Carol, I love creamy polenta, and topped with mushrooms looks just fantastic...delicious!
    Hope you are having a great week :-)

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  13. Looks wonderful; great combination of flavours.
    Rita

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  14. My son-in-law makes wonderful polenta but I seem to be polenta-challened. Maybe this recipe would work for me too. Love the mushrooms and tomatoes with it. My cherry tomato plant is still pumping out those little beauties so I'd better act fast!

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  15. Hi Carol, a fairy dropped by and I will post about it!

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  16. Wow - that looks so delicious!

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  17. Love, love, love polenta and mushrooms! This looks delicious.

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  18. I do love a good polenta and that mushroom ragout looks delicious.

    There's nothing wrong with a slightly lumpy polenta - it just gives it a bit of character

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  19. I first had polenta when visiting my aunt in Bologna. I will never forget that meal. Funny how there are some meals that just are unforgettable.

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  20. mmm parmesan and polenta... delicious combo!

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