polenta with mushrooms

Polenta the Italian word for cornmeal, is comfort food. Tasty with butter or cheese as a soupy side dish like porridge or when cool it cuts nicely into any shape and can serve as a base for eggs, meat, sauce or vegetables. Polenta with mushrooms works as an entrée or appetizer, this recipe is a crowd pleaser.

To cook the polenta
1 cup polenta
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups water

Pour 3 cups of cold water into a medium-sized saucepan and place on the stove set to medium high. Add the salt and polenta and stir with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low when the pan begins to bubble. Caution, polenta can pop out of the saucepan if it boils. Continue stirring, the water will evaporate and the polenta will thicken. Stir until the porridge is thick and holds it shape when pushed to one side of the pan.

Pour into a 3.37 x 6 x 11.38-inch glass loaf pan (1.5 quart). Use a spatula to scrape out all the porridge. Smooth the top of the polenta and pat down.

To cook the mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces portobello mushrooms sliced thinly, 12 medium-sized mushrooms
2  green onions, minced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1/8 cup soy sauce

Wipe mushrooms with a kitchen towel and slice thinly. Place wok or skillet on the stove
set to medium high. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil. When warm add the garlic and onions. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and onions and sauté until brown. Add the butter when the mushrooms begin to stick. Finish with the soy sauce stirring to incorporate.

Preheat oven to 350° F and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.

To assemble the polenta with mushrooms
Place mushrooms on top of the polenta. Bake in a 350° F oven for 20 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve warm.

Add 1/2 cup of  Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1/4 cup of butter to the polenta.