Mushrooms and Polenta

We watched The Game Changers documentary that explores the impact on top athletes and doctors when eating a plant-based diet. Definitely intriguing and certainly makes you think more about what you are putting in your mouth.

Attempting to stick with the less meat and more vegetables which are good for the health of the planet more than anything else so I made mushrooms and polenta for dinner. Granted there is some cheese in the polenta but otherwise, it sticks to the plant-based theme.

Polenta is not the same at 9000 vertical where I was cooking although everything needs a bit of shifting with less oxygen. This is such a good dish and I plan on making it again at sea level.

Polenta:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 3/4 cup polenta, cornmeal or grits
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan (or more for your own personal taste)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Bring 4 1/2 cups water and milk to simmer in a medium-sized pot. Add 1 tsp. kosher salt. Slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking at the same time. Turn the heat down to low and let this sit for about 45 minutes. Every five to ten minutes or so check the pot and give it a good whisk. If it is too thick, add a little more water. When the polenta is done, add butter and cheese. Cover and let sit for about an hour.

Mushrooms:

  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms (I used cremini)
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. cream
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

In a small bowl cover the dried porcini mushrooms with 1/2 cup boiling water. Let this steep for about 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, chop up and keep the liquid separate.

In a large saute pan melt two tbsp. butter. Saute the shallots. Add the fresh mushrooms, chopped porcinis and thyme to the pan. Saute for about 4 minutes. Add the 1/4 cup of the mushrooom stock set aside from the porcinis to the pan. Let the stock reduce by half. Whisk in the remaining butter, soy sauce, cream and olive oil. This should thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon polenta in a bowl, mushroom sauce on top and enjoy!

Serves 4-6.