Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms

Recipe by John Ash, Culinary Director
Fetzer Vineyards, Hopland, CA

Yield: 8 Servings


12 ounces (340 g) yellow onions, chopped coarse
4 ounces (120 g) white mushrooms, chopped coarse
2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped garlic
2 ounces (60 g) dried porcini or cèpe mushrooms,
     rinsed, soaked in water and chopped coarse
5 ounces (150 ml) olive oil
4 teaspoons (20 ml) finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) finely chopped fresh oregano
2 quarts (2 lt) chicken or vegetable stock
12 ounces (360 g) coarse polenta
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pt (450 ml) heavy cream
4 ounces (120 g) aged Asiago or Fontina, grated fine
8-10 fresh wild mushrooms
Fresh basil sprigs as needed for garnish

Sauté the onions, white mushrooms, garlic and porcini or cèpes in 4 fluid ounces (120 milliliters) of olive oil until lightly colored. Add the basil, oregano and stock; bring to a boil.

Slowly stir in the polenta. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. The polenta should be thick and creamy. Add more stock if necessary. Adjust the seasonings and keep warm.

Just before serving, add the cream and cheese and stir vigorously.

Sauté the fresh wild mushrooms in the remaining olive oil until tender. Spoon the polenta onto warm plates and garnish with the wild mushrooms and a sprig of fresh basil.

Approximate values per 8-ounces (240-g) serving: Calories 550, Total fat 46 g, Saturated fat 19 g, Cholesterol 95 mg, Sodium 1090 mg, Total carbohydrates 21 g, Protein 13 g, Vitamin A 35%, Vitamin C 15%, Calcium 20%, Iron 15%

All About Polenta


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Techniques from Expert Chefs
by Sarah R. Labensky and Alan M. Hause
ISBN: 0130618659
$50.00/hardcover (3rd edition)
1,800 full-color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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