Polenta with Wild Mushrooms

So what happened to the wild mushrooms I saw in San Francisco?  Well, I brought them home, and tonight I cooked them with baked polenta.  The result was awesome.

At the Ferry Plaza I bought a small quantity of chanterelles, lobster mushrooms and cauliflower mushrooms, the last of which I had never seen before.  Earlier in the week I had cooked a butternut squash, and had served the cauliflower and lobster mushrooms with it —  but had leftovers of each.  Tonight we had an excellent meal of Polenta with a Wild Mushroom Ragout.

First, I sautéed the Chanterelles, which were still in the paper bag I brought back from SF.  Cut into thin slices, sauté in olive oil, add some water or stock and evaporate, and then add 1/4 cup of white wine — in this case leftover Champagne — a couple of times, until the mushrooms are tender and cooked through.  Prepare the polenta: 1 cup of medium ground cornmeal to 3 1/2 cups of water, brought to a rolling boil, salted with 1 tsp., and then finely drizzled into the boiling water, and stirred for 20 minutes.

When the polenta is cooked, oil a baking dish and pour the polenta into it.  Smooth the top with a spatula and set aside to cool.  Boil a bunch of Cavolo Nero (or Lacinato Kale — same thing) in salted water until tender.  Drain, chop, and add a little olive oil and salt,  Set aside.

I had already roasted the butternut squash batonettes and sautéed the cauliflower mushrooms and lobster mushrooms, so they were leftovers and ready-to-go, but you can prepare them now, or use other wild mushrooms if you wish.

I put 1-2 Tbs of olive oil to a sauté pan, and added 1/2 diced onion, cooking on medium heat until lightly browned.  Add 1-2 garlic cloves, finely diced, and then add 5-6 Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced, and sauté until lightly browned.  Add two fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, plus a few squirts of tomato paste from a tube, and cook with the mushrooms until most of the liquid is gone.

Preheat the oven to 400º F.  Take the baking dish with the polenta, and:

  • arrange the squash pieces along the edge
  • spread the Cavolo Nero on top of the polenta
  • spread the wild mushroom/tomato ragout over the top
  • top with fresh corn kernels stripped from an ear of corn, if you have it
  • bake in hot oven for about 15 minutes until cooked through and browned
  • non-vegans might add some grated parmesan on top
  • remove from the oven, add several small fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil

Serve with a bottle of Villa Creek 2009 Damas Noir (100% Mourvedre).  Go straight to Heaven, do not pass GO.

Polenta dish

Insta Polenta dish

Damas Noir

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This entry was posted in Food, Uncategorized, Vegan, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

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