I’ve always loved polenta. It’s like a savory version of cream of wheat, and I love cream of wheat. I thought, today would be a no brainer for dinner as I recently purchased three boxes of instant polenta/ corn meal.
I got my inspiration from Moosewood Monday.
- 1/2 cup boiling water (optional)
- 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms, in pieces (optional, I used oyster and shitake dried mushrooms)
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups domestic mushrooms, diced (use 2 cups if you omit the porcini)- I SKIPPED THIS ALTOGETHER
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup smoked cheddar cheese or 1/2 cup mild provolone cheese, shredded
- ground black pepper
- dash of basil, marjoram, or tarragon (optional, I didn’t use it)
If you use the porcini mushrooms, pleace them in a bowl, cover with the boiling water, and set aside for about 10 minutes.
In a saucepan, bring the 3 cups water and salt to a rapid boil.
Add the cornmeal in a thin, steady stream, whisking to prevent lumps. Lower the heat to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking until the polenta thickens.
While the polenta cooks, strain the porcini mushrooms (if using) and rinse them. Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the domestic mushrooms, garlic, and porcini on medium heat until the oil is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the wine and add salt. Simmer gently for another minute or two. Preheat the broiler in the meantime.
Spread the polenta in an oiled pie plate (or individual ramekins). Sprinkle the mozzarella on the polenta. Spoon the sauteed mushrooms over the mozzarella and finish with a layer of the smoked cheddar and/or provolone. Add pepper to taste.
Broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is golden brown, and serve bubbling hot.