January 21, 2014 by Johanna Burani
I know. I’ve been gone for nearly six months. Well, not really “gone” – just away from my computer and my website. I had shoulder surgery during the summer. For a while, I couldn’t drive, see my patients, or use my computer. And I couldn’t cook. I couldn’t even open up the refrigerator door! Doctor’s orders.
I’m one of those people who needs both of her arms and hands to function well. So, now that I have full use again of my repaired arm, I’ve succeeded in catching up with professional and other responsibilities that had been put on hold. That means I’m back to share with my virtual friends some of my wholesome, home cooked, low glycemic Italian dishes.
Today it is snowing in New Jersey and the temperature outside is 22 degrees Fahrenheit. What better day to cook up some steaming polenta? Here’s a recipe for you.
- 2 cups (280 g) dry coarse polenta
- 1 cup (120 g) organic buckwheat flour
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) kosher salt
- 1 oz (30 g) dried porcini mushrooms
- 10 oz (300 g) mixed fresh mushrooms (crimini, white, baby portabella)
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large shallots (4 oz/120 g), thinly sliced
- 5 fresh sprigs (1/2 teaspoon/2.5 g dried) thyme
- salt/pepper to taste
- 2 oz (60 g) Gruyere cheese
- Bring 8 cups (1.9 l) of water to a boil.
- In the meantime mix the polenta and buckwheat flour in a medium bowl. Stir in 2 cups (0.5 l) warm water and mix thoroughly. When the water is boiling, add in the salt and the polenta mixture. Stir, cover and simmer very slowly for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes to prevent the bottom from sticking. The polenta will become thick and creamy as it cooks.
- In the meantime, place the porcini in a small bowl and cover them with 2 cups (0.5 l) warm water. Set aside.
- Wash, pat dry and coarsely chop the fresh mushrooms. Set aside.
- In a large pan, heat the oil then add the shallots. Saute’ on medium-low flame until translucent (about 8 minutes).
- Drain, rinse and pat dry the porcini, coarsely chop. Add to the mushroom mixture in the pan, saute’ for 5 minutes. Add the thyme and cook for another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.
- When the polenta is done, remove it from the heat. Pour half the amount in the pot onto a wooden board, pat into a round mound. Add the mushroom mixture (warmed) on top of the mound, then cover with the remaining polenta. Sprinkle on the cheese. Serve immediately.