Sunday, 15 January 2012

Will Run For Polenta And Mixed Mushrooms

polenta square with mixed mushrooms

This week Farmer was generous enough to share her words of 'wisdom' with A, "When the horse is dead get off!" (not the nicest analogy but you get the idea).  Unfortunately, she was talking about A's failed attempt at making polenta.   Butter & cheese contrary to popular belief cannot fix everything.  Note to self (and A) when making polenta make sure that you are using cornMEAL not cornFLOUR.

Polenta gone wrong.  Really wrong. 

Polenta is one of those dishes that I always say that I don't like but end up eating half of before it makes it to the table.  It's kind of hard to get excited about cornmeal mush.   With the help of roasted garlic, sun dried tomatoes, dried rosemary and mixed mushrooms it turns out that it's a little more exciting than mush.  It helps that it can be ready in less than a 1/2 hour. 

(serves 4-6)


4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup cornmeal (NOT cornflour)
2 T earth balance (butter or margarine)
1/2 C nutritional yeast (or 1 C grated old cheddar/your favourite cheese)
1/4 C sundried tomatoes ( soaked in hot water until softened)
*2 bulbs roasted  garlic

Warning: Do not make this recipe in shortsleeves/shorts as it stings when it spatters!

1.  Oil a 9 x 9 square silicone pan.

2.  Over medium heat,  heat stock in a medium sized pot.  SLOWLY (unless you're into lumps) pour cornmeal into boiling stock.  Stir constantly with a wooden spoon (no cheating unless you like your polenta lumpy...yuck!) until polenta thickens (15 minutes of stirring).

thickened polenta waiting for tasty additions

3.  Add earth balance (butter), nutritional yeast (cheese), sun dried tomatoes and roasted garlic.  Stir until combined.

polenta with roasted garlic and sun dried tomatoes

4.  Spread onto oiled pan or you can simply serve in bowls.  Allow to cool (place in refrigerator to speed things along) until firm.  Once cooled you can cut into various shapes or simply into squares.  In the meantime prepare mixed mushroom mixture.

polenta in oiled silicone pan

Mixed Mushrooms

mixed mushrooms with rosemary and garlic


4 cups mixed wild mushrooms ( stolen from your housemate's shelf)
2 cloves garlic minced
1 T dried rosemary
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 T white balsamic vinegar
cracked pepper

1.  Clean mushrooms by gently rinsing and wiping off dirt.  Remove the ends.

2.  In a frying pan warm oil and then saute mushrooms for approximately 5 minutes.  Add garlic, rosemary and oregano.  Saute until mushrooms and garlic are soft.  Add balsamic vinegar.  Season mushrooms with cracked pepper.

Putting it All Together

Turn oven to broil.  Place polenta squares on baking stone (you can top with parmesan if you wish).  Broil until golden brown.  Remove from oven.  Top with mushroom mixture.  Serve.

**Alternatively you can serve with marina sauce, roasted vegetables, snobby janes etc.

Roasted Garlic

roasted garlic from Spill The Beans Farm


2 garlic bulbs (local if possible)
1/2 tsp olive oil (1/4 tsp/bulb)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Using a sharp knife slice off the top of the garlic.  Drizzle each bulb with 1/4 tsp of olive oil.  Place each bulb on a square of aluminum foil and secure or use a ceramic brie baker (I'm not going to lie this gadget has been in my cupboard for the last year unused) .

2.  Bake for 45 minutes.  The cloves with slide out of their skins effortlessly when they are finished (waiting until they cool is a brilliant idea... I of course am not that patient).

polenta and mixed mushrooms
Leftovers were delicious and well deserved post run.  Not to mention that they helped to warm up frozen fingers.  This -20 weather is making the treadmill look more and more appealing.  

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