Herbed Polenta With Sherry Mushroom Ragout

Polenta is one of my favorite foods. I like it creamy, but my favorite way to eat it is cut into squares or triangles and pan-fried. This recipe is a great way to eat polenta. It has no dairy, but it is tasty and healthy as well. The original recipe calls for Marsala wine, so feel free to use that instead of sherry. I have made the polenta with parsley, but I used thyme this time and loved it.

from: Chloe’s Kitchen
serves: 4-6

Herbed Polenta
3 ½ cups water
1 cup polenta, or yellow cornmeal
1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as Italian parsley, basil or thyme.
2 tablespoons olive oil

Marsala Mushroom Ragout
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped
16 oz crimini mushrooms, mini bellas, or a mix
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup sherry (I used medium, not too dry, not too sweet)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

For the polenta:

Lightly grease an 8 or 9 inch square pan.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add cornmeal gradually, while whisking vigorously; to avoid clumping, Reduce heat to low, and whisk in salt and pepper. Let cook on low, uncovered, while stirring frequently with a wood spoon for about 5-10 minutes, or until mixture is thick. Turn off heat, stir in herbs, and adjust seasoning to taste.

Transfer polenta to prepared pan and let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight until firm.

Remove polenta from the refrigerator. Slice the polenta into squares and then triangles, and remove carefully with a spatula. Dust both sides of the polenta with flour (or fine cornmeal).

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and pan-fry polenta in batches. Let cook a few minutes on each until nicely crisped and golden brown.

For the mushrooms:
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté onions and mushrooms until soft. Season with salt and pepper. The skillet may seem overcrowded, but the mushrooms will cook down. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.

Add sherry and broth and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in parsley. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Plate the polenta triangles and top with the mushroom ragout.

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