Mill City Cooks

Mushroom Ragout over Creamy Polenta

by Jeremy McAdams, adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s “Farm to Fork”

Serves 4

1 lb. shiitake and oyster mushrooms – cleaned stemmed & quartered (Cherry Tree House Mushrooms)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (Valli del’Etna Olio)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1/2 cup diced onion (Stone’s Throw Urban Farm)
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic (Swede Lake Farm and Global Garlic)
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves (Prairie Hollow Farm)
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves (Prairie Hollow Farm)
3/4 cup diced tomatoes (Stone’s Throw Urban Farm)
1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste – optional
2 cup mushroom, vegetable, or chicken stock
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (Prairie Hollow Farm)
2 cups of whole milk
a pinch of ground mace
7/8 cup stone-ground polenta or course cornmeal (Sunrise Flour Mill)
1/4 cup mascarpone or cream cheese
1/2 cup plus extra for garnish parmesan or Friesago cheese (Shepherd’s Way Farm)
1 Tbsp. chives (Prairie Hollow Farm)

The Mushroom Ragout Place a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil and 2 Tbsp. of butter.  When the butter begins to foam, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they have released most of their liquid, about 10 minutes.

Add the thyme, oregano, diced tomatoes, tomato paste if desired, and 1 cup of stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the ragout has thickened, about 20 minutes.  Season with the salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley.

The Creamy Polenta Combine the milk, remaining stock, remaining butter, remaining salt, remaining pepper, and mace in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil on high heat.  Whisk in the polenta and stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken.  Then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes, or until the polenta is creamy and tender and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Add the cheeses and stir to blend.  Remove from the heat and stir for 3 minutes to cool the polenta.

Divide the Creamy Polenta among four shallow bowls, and top with mushroom ragout.  Garnish with the parmesan and chives, and serve hot.