Polenta with foraged mushrooms and creme fraiche

October 31, 2016 Published by Dina Leave your thoughts

I went to the market on the weekend in search of foraged mushrooms and found our forager Scott Moran just gathering his boxes and getting ready to leave. He still had a pile of pine mushrooms left so I took a few of them home. Pine mushrooms are quite rare so it was a special treat. As you can see from the images these are large mushrooms with whitish skin and white flesh and have a distinct pungent aroma. They grow in forests of older trees: Lodgepole pine, Douglas fir or Hemlock, usually hidden under a thick layer of moss and leaves and require a trained eye to spot.

I cleaned the soil off the mushrooms with a vegetable brush and peeled part of the stem that was too hard to clean. I then sliced them, chopped them up a bit and combined with yellow chanterelles that I had on hand. At first I was going to make a risotto but changed my mind and decided to make polenta with beautiful cornmeal that I brought back from Italy from our recent stay there.

The polenta was particularly delicious and creamy, although I did add all the required butter and parmesan and even a spoonful of creme fraiche that I had on hand. While the polenta was cooking (and I was stirring), I cooked the mushrooms in a skillet on another burner so everything was ready at about the same time and it didn’t take long. I cooked the mushrooms in butter and a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and at the end added a spoonful of creme fraiche for tangy note.

One caveat: soft polenta needs to be served right after it’s cooked. If you let it sit it will stiffen. If you wish, you can spread cooked polenta on a baking sheet and let it set, then fry or bake it and serve with the mushrooms. See recipe here.

It was delicious so I am sharing the recipe. I hope you enjoy.


Polenta with foraged mushrooms

Polenta with foraged mushrooms


Ingredients:


Polenta:

 

1 cup polenta style cornmeal
4 cups stock
Coarse sea salt (about a teaspoon at this stage, correct seasoning later)
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup creme fraiche
1/3 cup grated parmesan

Mushrooms:

 

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespooon olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup creme fraiche
A small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley


Directions:


Polenta:

 

Bring stock to a boil, add the salt and then the cornmeal in a slow and steady stream whisking constantly.

Whisk while the mixture return to a boil, lower heat to lowest and continue cooking, mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon for about 30 minutes or until the cornmeal absorbs all liquid and swells up nicely.

Add the butter, creme fraiche and parmesan and mix them in.

Cover and let sit until the mushrooms are ready.


Mushrooms:

 

Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet large enough to hold the mushrooms.

Add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes on med-low heat.

Add thew chopped mushrooms and cook until they absorb all the butter and begin to turn golden.

Add the slat and pepper, then the creme fraiche and cook for another minute to incorporate.

Stir in the chopped parsley.


To serve:

 

Spoon the soft polenta into shallow bowls, top with the mushrooms and a spoonful of creme fraiche on top.

Serve immediately.


Polenta



 

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