14 March 2008

It's Like Grits! But Yellow!

Yes, this was my gleeful cheer when I tried a stripped-down version of Emeril's Polenta with Mushrooms recipe. It may sound sad to you, but my little Southern heart was ready to bathe in buttery goodness, and it was not disappointed.

There's really nothing to this "recipe," so there may be little point in trying to convey it, but nonetheless I will give you a quick blow by blow. Bring three cups of water to the boil with a tablespoon of olive oil. I would suggest doing it over medium heat, because when I chose high, everything was just a little too happy (aka, wanting to escape the saucepan). When the water is boiling, add 3/4 cup polenta and salt and pepper to taste. Admire its lovely yellow colour. Whisk it around a little. Partially cover (I used aluminum foil), lower to a simmer (it didn't take much heat at all), and let it go for 20-25 minutes. I thought it was ready before it was - make sure you check to see if the grains are tender. Even if it looks like all the water is absorbed, it won't hurt to cook it till tender.

In the meantime, chop your mushrooms. I used the leftover shitakes and a pack of creminis. I was going to add onion, but I had enough mushrooms for a nice full pan, so I didn't bother. Heat up some butter and olive oil (eyeball it depending on how many mushrooms you're cooking) and saute about ten minutes or until the pan is pretty much dry. Season as you like - I used salt, pepper, and thyme. I also deglazed the pan with sherry. I have this thing about sherry and mushrooms, to the point that when I couldn't get my cooking sherry open I actually got out the wrench. (That worked.) Now, add a couple big spoonfuls of butter to your polenta, and serve with the mushrooms on top. Very classy grits!

The Bottom Line

Taste: ***
Appearance: ***
Ease: ***
Cost: $$$
Overall: ***

5 comments:

Carver said...

That looks delicious.

Holler said...

I haven't tried polenta before, buttery now seems the way to go!
I cannot believe you took a wrench to that cooking sherry, although.....!

LisaRene said...

You crack me up! I agree, polenta is basically "classy" grits that you pay a good penny for at a nice restaurant. Alton Brown did a great episode on Good Eats based on polenta a.k.a. grits.

Judith said...

Holler - If it's available in Scotland, you should definitely try it! And nothing gets between me and my sherry...

Lisa - I'll check that out! We have all the Good Eats episodes in the library on DVD. I <3 Alton.

Beatrice said...

I love polenta/grits and I love mushrooms, so I'm going to have to try this...