Rosemary and Thyme Mushroom Polenta

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“What’s going on with your…” Roo started, waving a fork towards the vicinity of my face.

“You mean this?” I asked, pointing at my eyes.

“Did you…are you trying something new?”

“What, you don’t appreciate the Clockwork Orange look?”

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“It’s just,” he paused, “different.”

I looked down, pushing the polenta onto my fork. “It’s what happens when your eyeliner pencil breaks mid-application at work.   I got my left eye done and then the tip broke off when I was starting on the right.”

“Why didn’t you just wash it off?”

I sighed. “Well, that would have been the obvious thing to do.”

Roo furrowed his brow.

“You know how I am in a panic.” I said, between bites, “I ran back into the office and tried to sharpen the pencil.”

“With a pencil sharpener?”

“With a blunt pair of scissors.”

“It looks fine.” Roo replied, turning his head slightly, trying to hide a smile.

I sighed, grabbing a napkin and dipping it into my water glass.

“What are you doing?”

I started wiping off the botched makeup job on my right eye, “Trying to fix it.”

“Babe, I don’t even know why you put on makeup.”

“What are you talking about?”

“It’s like,” he paused, “you’re like Beyonce. She looks even better without makeup. Unlike Nicki Minaj who just needs more and more piled on.”

“I don’t know whether to be more surprised about the Beyonce or the Nicki Minaj reference you just made.”

“Fine. It’s like this dish,” he said, tilting his plate of mushrooms and polenta forward. “It doesn’t need a whole bunch of stuff piled on top of it to make it better. It’s just great the way it is.”

I smiled. “You know I would have preferred Rihanna, right?”

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Adapted from Plenty

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Serves Two (Maybe Three)

Equipment

A sharp knife

A medium sized saucepan (or pot) with lid

A long wooden spoon or spatula

A large skillet

A large plate

Two and a quarter cups of low sodium stock (I used homemade vegetable)

Half cup of polenta

1 tablespoon of olive oil

16 ounces of cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, chopped (you could use white)

3 garlic cloves, minced

One and a half teaspoons of dried thyme

1 teaspoon of dried rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

Add the stock to a medium sized saucepan and place over a burner on high heat. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  As the stock simmers, add the polenta.   Cook, stirring constantly with a spatula. The polenta is done when it starts to leave the sides of the pan but is still somewhat runny. It should be smooth, having the consistency of thick porridge (it’ll probably burp at you when it’s ready).  Remove from heat, cover with a lid and set aside. (Check the bag that your polenta came in to see the recommended cook time. Depending on the grain you used, the time will vary greatly {fine grain versus coarse}).

While waiting for the stock to come to a boil, add a tablespoon of oil to your large skillet. Place the skillet over a burner on medium high heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer, add half of the chopped mushrooms (enough to cover the bottom of the skillet, but no more, so you may have to do less than half depending on the size of your pan) to the skillet.  Cook, untouched, allowing the mushrooms contacting the bottom of the pan to caramelize (about three minutes). Flip the mushrooms over so that the other side browns (you can use the spatula to flip them manually). Once both sides have browned, scoop out the mushrooms with your spatula and place them on a large plate (try to keep as much oil in the pan as possible).  Repeat the mushroom cooking process until you’re on your last batch.

Once you’ve browned the second side of the last batch of mushrooms, add the other caramelized mushrooms (on the large plate) back to the skillet. Add the garlic, thyme and rosemary.  Stir the ingredients together, cooking, until fragrant (about a minute).  Remove the pan from heat.

To plate, divide the polenta between two plates, then top with the mushrooms.

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6 thoughts on “Rosemary and Thyme Mushroom Polenta

  1. I love Roo and I agree, you look fabulous with or without makeup. Nicki Minaj looks better with less makeup too, like her role as Rafiki in the Lion King . . . sorry I couldn’t resist.

    Hey, also (since this is about wonderful soul-smiling food) I just picked up some mushrooms and may be giving this a try this week! Yummers 🙂

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