Smooth Instant Polenta with Mushrooms, a dish that certainly comforts the soul with its creamy texture, plump mushrooms, and extraordinary flavors. However, it is not only about how good it tastes, but how elegant and beautiful this is. Truly a restaurant quality dish!
Polenta has come a long way!
Back in the day, polenta was made over a fire in the kitchen fireplace. You would see a copper pot hanging over the fire, where the polenta would be cooking. My Mom and Dad said some would burn on the bottom of the pot giving the polenta a smoky flavor! It was served on a wood board and on top some rich tomato sauce and sausages. Everyone would scoop from the board set in the middle of the table. Talk about a family style meal, right?
I still love that way of doing polenta but sometimes there isn't the time and instant polenta comes to the rescue. Chefs are using polenta as a base to fish or meats. Today we are using mushrooms and it is utterly delicious! You're in for a real treat, let's get into the kitchen and start cooking!
Before getting into the nitty gritty of Smooth Instant Polenta with Mushrooms
We are so excited to share this recipe with you, however before we get started, we need to get our ingredients ready. This is what you need:
- Instant Polenta
- olive oil
- dried red chilis
- fresh thyme and parsley
- white wine
- salt and pepper
- Parmigiano Reggiano
Getting the flavor out of your mushrooms!
We absolutely love mushrooms. In Italy there are these mushrooms called Porcini. You will never forget these amazing mushrooms. Flavor upon flavor and meaty texture. The only way to get them here is dried, too bad. It is not all a sad story because we do have growers that produce some pretty tasty cremini, and shitake, amongst many others and today we are using those.
The way to get maximum flavor is to sauté the mushrooms in olive oil, butter, a pinch of chili flakes, garlic, minced onion, white wine, some seasoning and fresh herbs such as thyme and parsley. It is that easy and exactly what we have to do! I guarantee you, the flavor will be magnificent! Don't those mushrooms look so juicy and plump? I am going to taste one. Perfect!
Time to whip up the corn flour for this Smooth Instant Polenta with Mushrooms
Today we are using instant polenta. It takes no time at all and still has incredible flavor and texture. All we need to do is:
- Get the water boiling, making sure to season it with salt. Once it is at this point, turn the heat down a bit and bring it to a slow boil.
- Slowly pour the corn meal into the pot a little at a time, while continually stirring with a whisk. Make sure to get that corn meal nice and smooth and free of lumps.
- Be careful as it is going to start bubbling, and if it lands on you, it really hurts. I turn the heat down a bit and dodge those flying bits! It's creamy and dreamy and almost ready to go!
- When it is just about done, add in the grated Parmigiano, and give it a good whisk to keep it creamy. Warm up the mushrooms at this point.
- Time to plate!
- Spoon a nice amount of the polenta in a shallow bowl, top with the sautéed mushrooms, sprinkle with some chopped fresh parsley, and a drizzle of evo oil.
A plate of comfort and beauty!
Look at the way the polenta sets off the mushrooms. Its velvetiness is a perfect bed for the sautéed mushrooms and those lovely juices that just linger in any of the creases is so inviting!
The aroma is amazing. To me polenta has that nutty corn aroma, and the mushrooms the enticing earthiness and the freshness of those thyme and parsley.
Smooth Instant Polenta with Mushrooms, Italian soul food at its best!
Polenta always brings back incredible memories of family and our meal times. The polenta is rich, creamy and the corn flavor comes through beautifully. More so, it pairs so lovingly with the earthiness and acidity of the Cremini and Shitake mushrooms. They just burst from their plumpness with juiciness and a meaningful meatiness, that is a sheer delight to the palate. All in all, this is a wonderful Fall meal that will warm you from head to toe.
I have enjoyed sharing this recipe with all its memories and love with you. Truly sit down, relax, be grateful for each other, and enjoy this wonderful dish!
For the polenta:
- ½ cup instant corn flour for polenta
- 500 ml water
- ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
For the mushrooms:
- 3 cups sliced mixed mushrooms (we used Cremini and Shitake)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 onion minced
- 3 tablespoons evo oil
- a pat of butter
- salt and pepper
- pinch of chili flakes
- ¼ cup white wine
- some chopped parsley and couple sprigs of fresh thyme
- some fresh chopped parsley
- a drizzle of evo oil
- In a medium sauté pan drizzle in olive oil and throw in butter and chili flakes. Then, add the garlic and minced onion. Turn heat to medium and once the butter melts and garlic and onion are sizzling, toss in the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, add in the parsley and thyme. Pour in the white wine. Stir and cook for 10 minutes, at this point the wine should have dissipated. Once the mushrooms have softened turn heat off, set aside.
- Pour water into a medium pot, season with salt, turn on heat, and bring to a boil. Then, turn heat down a bit and bring the water to a slow boil.
- Slowly pour the corn meal in, a little at a time. At the same time, whisk briskly to keep it from clumping. Continually stir as the polenta thickens and turn heat down a bit. The polenta will start to bubble and we are close to being done.
- When it is just about done, add in the grated Parmigiano, and give it a good whisk to keep it creamy and smooth. This process takes only 3 minutes. On that note look at the directions on the package as different brands cook at different times.
- Warm up mushrooms in the sauté pan.
- Spoon polenta into a medium bowl, covering the bottom of the dish.
- Top the polenta with the mushrooms, garnish with some fresh chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Ready to serve. Enjoy!
If you want you could use the regular polenta, but make sure you allow the 40 minutes or more that it takes for cooking. Also be prepared to stir a lot.
This recipe can be done with any of your favorite mushrooms. Also, instead of the Parmigiano, you can add your favorite cheese and let it melt in the polenta.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Main
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: cremini mushrooms, polenta, corn meal, shitake mushrooms, garlic, Italian comfort food, fall recipe, soul food, white wine,
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.