Forget the story and take me to the recipe of this comforting Polenta with mushrooms and blue cheese
Hey there, how are you? How was your week-end? Guess what? On Friday we have been very naughty. Monday will be my daughter’s birthday, she will be 6, and we decided to make my kids a big surprise. Friday morning we woke them up as usual for school, we got them dressed, with the usual struggle and we fed them some breakfast. Then after teeth-washing adventure, I handed them a little, and I told them, please put this in a backpack. The note read something like: 4 pairs of socks, 4 T-shirts, 2 sweat pants, 1 pyjama …and such. Oh, their faces! “Andiamo in montagna?” (are we going up the mountains). Yes indeed we were skipping school to go away. We have rented this tiny little small apartment about 1 hr and half outside Milan, up on the Alps. We had some snow there, and the kids were super excited.
Saturday night after playing outside the whole day and getting wet down to the bone, we decided for some very mountaineer dinner: Polenta e funghi con gorgonzola (Polenta with mushrooms and gorgonzola cheese)
It takes very little to make, but in winter it is the best of the comfort foods, especially with a glass or two, or three of full bodied red wine.
- 400 g mushrooms
- 200 g quick instant polenta
- 100 g blue cheese
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- some fresh flat leaf parsley
- some drops of lemon juice
- This preparation of the mushrooms is very common in Italy, it is called: trifolati. You can use this way of cooking them for almost any mushroom, and they will do great as side dish any time. Get a large pan, add the oil, the garlic whole, and some stalks from the parsley (2 or 3). Let it simmer for 5 or 10 mins on a very low temperature. This way the oil will absorb all the flavour from the garlic and the parsley.
- Turn up the heat and add the mushrooms, sauteé them for 10 minutes at least, until tender but still with some body to it.
- When cooked, season with salt and pepper and add a couple of spoons of freshly chopped parsley. A little tip of the chef here, before seasoning add a few drops of lemon juice (3 or 4) to the mushrooms, it will make a huge difference,
- Prepare the polenta according to the instructions on the package. Just add a little more water to leave it more runny. Do not forget to season the water.
- Once the polenta is cooked, the dish is ready. Assemble it like this: a bog dollop of polenta in the center of the dish, a generous spoon of blue cheese (I have used a fresh Gorgonzola cheese, very creamy - not as hard as other blue cheese) , add one more dollop of polenta on top of the cheese, and let the heat do the rest. Spoon some mushrooms on the side.
Polenta: traditionally it is made with coarse corn flower , water and elbow grease. It tastes good but it takes forever to cook (about 1 hr of continue stirring). We often used a polenta flour that is pre-cooked, we call it instant polenta, and it takes about 10 minutes to make. A good brand will taste just as delicious.