Side DishesVegetarian

Polenta topped with a Mushroom Sauce (serves 4)

This is the first time I have successfully made polenta. Up until now it has been tasteless and quite unappetizing. While I followed the instructions on the packet I also did a bit of googling and found that TLC is needed – a bit like for risotto. I measured the polenta into a deep skillet and poured cold water over it (that was a tip I gleaned). I brought the to a boil then simmered for 15 minutes stirring frequently. In addition I added some salt and 2 oz. grated parmesan towards the end of cooking. I served this as a side dish but it makes a good vegetarian meal as well.

For the mushroom sauce, I used baby Bella mushrooms and cooked them with finely chopped shallot and garlic and I made mushroom stock from a cube and thickened it with cornflour.

If you want to take a real shortcut you can buy polenta pre-cooked in a tube, cut it into slices and gently fry it.

Cook time:20 minutes

1 cup polenta
4 cups of cold water
Salt
2 oz. Parmesan cheese – grated

Place the polenta in a large, deep sided skillet. Pour over the water, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes stirring frequently. Towards the end of cooking add salt and Parmesan.
Tip polenta into a serving dish and top with mushroom sauce.

Mushroom Sauce

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 a shallot – finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic – grated
8 oz. sliced baby Bella mushrooms
1 cup of mushroom broth (Kallo brand) or veg. broth
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped

Heat oil in a skillet. When nice and hot add the shallot, soften and let brown before adding the garlic and cooking for a further minute or two.
Tip in the mushrooms and cook for a couple more minutes.
Pour a little bit of broth over the cornflour and stir in gently until a liquidy paste is formed. Stir it into the rest of the broth and add to the mushrooms, stirring all the time as the sauce will begin to thicken as the liquid comes to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour sauce over polenta, garnish with parsley and serve.

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