Polenta with Mushroom Pomodoro – get into it!
Do you ever meet people that you’re just instantly obsessed with? (I mean that in the least creepy way) You just know that after meeting you’re totally going to be friends forever and things just click! That’s exactly how I felt about Sarah Copeland the first time I met her. Well, truth be told, I was a little intimidated because she’s this tall, gorgeous, blond bombshell… but all that aside, I knew we were going to be besties!
Fast forward a few years and guess what, she’s a brilliant friend, not to mention one of my favorite people in the food world. Plus she’s an excellent partner in crime when it comes to polishing off a bottle of bubbly and enjoying some of NYC’s best eats. Sarah just came out with her second cookbook – Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite – and it’s a beauty. Feast is packed to the brim with vegetarian recipes to please any kind of palate. I’ve read it cover to cover, twice, and bookmarked just about every page in the entire thing. It’s hands down one of my favorite cookbooks to date.
The Polenta with Mushroom Pomodoro was seriously calling my name. Minus the fact that I never actually make polenta – I knew that this one was up first. Why, you ask, do I never make Polenta? Who knows! I’m a weirdo, it scares me a little bit, and my mom never made it for us as kids. Which basically means it’s not the first thing I think of when figuring out what to make for dinner. But after whipping up a batch from Feast, I can promise you that that is no longer the case.
Polenta + Mushroom Pomodoro + Thyme…. I’d say that it’s an epic meal. And one that I won’t soon forget.
Also – Polenta with Mushroom Pomodoro stop motion food styling on instagram… say whaaaaat! You have to check that out.
Vegetarian or not, I’d say this cookbook is an absolute must for anyone who loves food! Two thumbs up from the What’s Gaby Cooking kitchen – and it should totally go on your holiday wish list. Also, I hope my husband doesn’t mind eating vegetarian food for the next month as I work my way through each and every chapter!!
Polenta with Mushroom Pomodoro
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup polenta
- sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds assorted wild mushrooms
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove smashed
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon cognac
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Slowly add the polenta, stir with a wooden spoon, and add 1 tsp salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is tender and full cooked, about 20 minutes. Add the milk, 2 tbsp of the butter, and the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the polenta and stir together over medium-low heat until just warmed through and soft enough to drop easily from a spoon, a few minutes more. Cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown and release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are crispy but still juicy, seasoning with salt and pepper toward the end of cooking. Add the shallot, garlic and thyme and cook 4 minutes more. Add the half and half and the Cognac. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid thickens just slightly and coats the mushrooms evenly, a few minutes more. Discard the thyme sprig and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
- Spoon the polenta into bowls and top with the mushrooms and sprinkle with herbs if desired.