After a long hiatus (readers are probably sick of my excuses by now :/), I’m back! I’m back with another tasty dish, too: Mushroom and Herb Polenta (pg. 264). My boyfriend and I were not in agreement over the title. He wanted to call it “Polenta Pastoral” because he said it was the best polenta dish he ever had; it preached to him, the pleasures of polenta. I chose “Polenta Pie” because it was kinda pizza like… but regardless, this dish was awesome!
In total, the cook time was slightly over an hour, which was nice because we didn’t get home until 6:30, meaning by 7:45 we were eating.
The dish also had fairly easy to come by ingredients. I’ll be the first to say that a variety of mushrooms is hard to find in Alaska, but variety should be common in most other places. AND, I was lucky enough to recently be in Seattle and find a great local mushroomer (at the Ballard Sunday Farmers Market – a MUST if you’re ever in Seattle!) who sold awesome looking dried chanterelles. Dried. That means I could take them back to Alaska with me! Woohoo! And of course, my first thought was: how can I use these in a “Plenty” recipe?
I found the Mushroom and Polenta recipe and knew that was it. The recipe said that quick/instant polenta or traditional/slow polenta would work. Bob’s Red Mill polenta was on sale, so we went with that. It was perfect.
The recipe also called for “chevril.” Admittedly, I at first thought this was a cheese Haha! So I googled it. Who knew, its an herb, also known as “French Parsley.” I made note. The hardest ingredient for me to find was the cheese: Taleggio. I knew Juneau wouldn’t offer that specialty cheese in the local cheese section, so before I even went to the grocery store, I googled “good substitute for Taleggio.” Almost every answer I found said “Fontina” and/or “Limburger.” So I got both! I combined them on the polenta when it broiled and it turned out pretty good, I think. Although, important note: Limburger cheese is STINKY! OMG! The apartment still smells. The strong flavor came through, but wasn’t overwhelming, but the smell – wow. Good thing we had a nice wine to pair with it 😉
The recipe itself was straight forward: make the polenta, fry the mushrooms, spread the polenta on a baking sheet with the cheese, broil, add mushrooms and re-heat in the broiler for a hot minute, and done! Chef did not say in the recipe how thick to spread the polenta. The picture in the book looks pretty thin, but I wasn’t sure how thick/thin to spread it. I ended up going about 1/2 inch, but I think that it could have been 1/4 inch thick. My polenta turned out great, but only the edges really got crispy. If you’re looking for a bit more of a solid texture, spread the polenta thinner.
Overall, this was a fantastic meal. Like I said, my boyfriend said it was the best polenta dish he ever had. 5 stars hands down. YUM.
Mine (R); Chef’s (L, pg. 265)