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Baked Polenta with Shiitake Ragout



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 Still Life with Mushrooms
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Baked Polenta with Shiitake Ragout
Gourmet December 1990

For the mushroom ragout:
1 large onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems
discarded, and, if large, caps quartered
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/3 cups beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

For the polenta:
6 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 pound mozzarella, diced fine (about 1 cup)

Make the mushroom ragout: In a large deep skillet cook the onion,
garlic, and rosemary in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion
is softened, add the mushrooms and salt to taste, and cook the mixture
over moderately high heat, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until the liquid the
mushrooms give off is evaporated. Stir in the tomato paste and the wine
and boil the mushroom mixture until most of the liquid is evaporated.
In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the broth, add this mixture and
the Worcestershire sauce to the mushroom mixture and bring the ragout
to a boil, stirring. Simmer the ragout for 2 minutes and season it with
salt and pepper.

For the polenta
: In a large heavy saucepan bring the water with the oil to
a boil and add 1 cup of the cornmeal, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining 1 cup cornmeal in a slow
stream, stirring constantly, and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove pan
from the heat and stir in butter, 2/3 cup of the Parmesan, the parsley,
and salt and pepper to taste. Spread one-third of the polenta evenly in
a buttered 13-by-9-inch baking dish and chill the polenta sheet for 20
minutes, or until it is firm. While the polenta sheet is chilling, working
quickly, spread half the remaining polenta in a buttered 3-quart shallow baking dish, top it with half the mushroom ragout, and top the ragout
with the mozzarella. Spread the remaining polenta quickly over the
mozzarella and top it with the remaining ragout.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Baked Polenta with Onions and Bacon
Baked Polenta with Wild Mushroom and Tomato Sauce


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