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Polenta with Mushrooms


Soy sauce combined with butter is one of the great flavor combinations on rice, greens, poached eggs, grilled meat, fish and more! These flavors weave beautifully together with the Sonoma-Cutrer Founders Reserve Pinot Noir.

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    Serves 4

    Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

    Prep Time 45 minutes

    Difficulty Level Medium


    1 c whole milk (for the polenta)

    1 tsp salt, or to taste (for the polenta)

    1 1/4 c polenta or coarse cornmeal such as Bob's Red Mill (for the polenta)

    2 tbsp unsalted butter, or to taste (for the polenta)

    2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan, or to taste (for the polenta)

    2 oz dried morel mushrooms

    5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pats and divided (for the mushrooms)

    1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil(for the mushrooms)

    1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced (for the mushrooms)

    12 oz fresh mushrooms, wild or cultivated, sliced

    1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (for the mushrooms)

    1 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste (for the mushrooms)

    2 tbsp heavy cream (for the mushrooms)

    Freshly ground black pepper (for the mushrooms)


    1. For the polenta, bring 3-1/2 cups water and the milk to a high simmer in a medium-size heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Add salt. Pour the cornmeal slowly into the liquid, stirring with a wire whisk to prevent clumping.

    2. Continue stirring as the mixture thickens, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn heat to low and cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    3. If the polenta becomes quite thick, thin it with 1/2 cup water, stir well and continue cooking.

    4. Add additional water if necessary to keep the polenta soft enough to stir. Stir in the butter and parmesan. Taste for seasoning. Set the covered saucepan in a pot of barely simmering water, and keep warm for up to an hour.

    5. Meanwhile, put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, and cover with about 3/4 cup boiling water. Allow to steep for 15 minutes.

    6. Remove the mushrooms and pat dry reserving the mushroom soaking water. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil to a sauté pan set over high heat.

    7. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and cook until it starts to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Do not let the garlic brown.

    8. Add the fresh and reconstituted mushrooms and thyme to the pan and sauté stirring until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

    9. Add about 1/4 cup of the mushroom stock to deglaze the surface, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits. Continue cooking until the stock has nearly evaporated.

    10. Turn the heat to medium and whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, soy sauce and cream. Allow mixture to cook until it thickens a little then remove from heat

    11. Taste for seasoning, adding black pepper if desired.

    12. Put the polenta in a warmed bowl, top with mushrooms and sauce. Serve immediately.

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