This decadent polenta is finished with cream, butter, fontina and Parmesan cheese and then topped with a flavourful mix of sautéed mushrooms.
1 ounce package dried porcini mushrooms
5 cups of water
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
Butter, as needed
4 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 sprig thyme, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces fontina, grated
1/2 cup whipping cream, warmed
Chives, chopped, for garnishing
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for finishing (optional)
Soak dried porcini mushrooms in hot water, about 20 minutes. Drain and chop, reserving the soaking liquid.
Bring the water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil. While whisking, add the cornmeal a little at a time. (Whisking will help eliminate lumps). Reduce heat to medium low and cook polenta, stirring constantly until thickened and will mound on a spoon, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add 3 tbsp. butter. When butter melts, add cremini, soaked porcini and chopped thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
If polenta is too thick, thin with a little hot water to preferred consistency. Finish polenta with porcini liquid, 1/4 cup butter, Parmesan cheese, fontina cheese and whipping cream. Transfer to serving dish. Top with mushroom mixture. Garnish with chives. Finish with more Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings.