Makes 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: Approx 3 hours unattended cook time
2 cups heavy cream
2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
2/3 cup cornmeal, preferably coarse ground
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp reshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tsp chopped fresh chives
In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the cream and milk and heat over medium-high heat just until small bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Add the salt, and whisk the cream and milk until quite frothy.
Add the polenta and continue to whisk the mixture as it comes to a boil. Continue whisking for an additional 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan, and cook the polenta. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir every 5 minutes or so, until the cornmeal is completely cooked and quite tender, about 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours. It may seem very thin initially, but it will gradually thicken. As the polenta cooks, a skin will form on the bottom and sides of pan (if you are not using a nonstick pan), which is proper and which gives the polenta a slightly toasty flavor.
Just before serving, stir in the butter, the Grana Padano, and the chives. The polenta should pour from the spoon as you serve it and will thicken as it cools. If necessary, you can thin the polenta with a little milk just before serving. Divide the polenta among heated bowls or plates.
Fricassee of Truffled Mushrooms
Makes 4 servings
Prep time: Prepare while polenta is cooking.
Cook time: 15 minutes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
8 ounces mixed domestic and wild mushrooms, sliced or cut into naturally occurring pieces, about 2 cups (Honshimeji, shiitake and oyster for example)
1/2 cup homemade chicken reduction or purchased chicken reduction, diluted with water to a liquid
1 tbsp snipped chives
1 tsp preserved white truffles
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until the shallots just begin to color on their edges. Add the mushrooms and cook until the liquid is released. Add the chicken reduction, bring to a boil, reduce to a bubbling simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
Have the polenta portioned out into warm bowls. Just before serving, reheat the mushrooms if necessary. Toss the mushrooms with the chives and drizzle a little of the preserved truffles over the mushrooms. Be careful not to cook the truffles more than a few seconds, because the flavor dissipates quickly. Spoon some mushrooms and some of the cooking juices over each serving of polenta.
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