Pan-seared Polenta with Mushrooms

April 11, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

Polenta is a great ingredient for quick cooking. Here I allow it to chill a bit and then pan fry it until it's nice and crispy and then serve it with a decadent creamy mushroom sauce.

Photo Courtesy of Cassandra Birocco. —Gourmet Recipes for One

What You'll Need
  • Cooking spray, for coating
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup polenta (yellow corn grits)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 portobello mushroom cap, thinly sliced
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
  • 2-3 tablespoons low-sodium beef broth
  • 2-3 sprigs red wine
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. Coat a loaf pan on all sides with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until mixture is thickened, whisking constantly. Season with pepper. Stir in cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Transfer polenta to loaf pan and smooth out top so mixture is evenly distributed in pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  3. Run a knife along inside of loaf pan to loosen polenta. Place a cutting board just large enough to cover loaf pan over its top and gently flip pan over to remove polenta. Cut polenta in half, then one half diagonal into two triangles (reserving 1 triangle and remaining half for a later use).
  4. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and allow to cook, without stirring, for about 2 minutes. Stir and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add thyme. Add wine and broth and simmer for about 2 minutes, until sauce cooks down a bit. Add butter and cook until incorporated.
  5. In another sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry polenta until golden brown, without touching, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn polenta over and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Place polenta on a serving plate and top with mushroom mixture, followed by additional Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.
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