We like a bargain here at Yumblog Cottage, so when we spied the veg stall at Todmorden Market selling large boxes of portobello mushrooms for the VERY reasonable price of two quid, we couldn’t resist. They proved to be the frugal basis of three meals – this, a tasty cream of mushroom soup (recipe in the queue), and a disappointing and binned pâté which failed to set properly and slopped out onto the plate like farmyard slurry. But discard all visions of cowplop from your mind, for this is an interesting and tasty dish.
Preparation time: 10 minutes plus an hour to set the polenta
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Skill level: easy
- polenta – 90g
- butter – 25g
- portobello mushrooms – 400g
- rosemary – roughly chopped – 2tbsp
- 2 fat garlic cloves – finely chopped
- gorgonzola – 50g
- olive oil
- s and p
Start by making your polenta.
Bring 500ml of salted water to the boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Gradually pour in the polenta, stirring continuously.
Keep stirring and cook for 5-7 minutes until the polenta is smooth.
Continue cooking over a low/medium heat for 25 minutes – stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat and stir in 15g of butter.
Pour into a suitably sized container/tin which has been lined with cling film – you’ll want your polenta to be about 15-20mm thick.
Smooth the top of the polenta and refrigerate for about an hour until cool and set.
Cut the polenta into slices,
Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When the oil is very hot, lay in the polenta slices and fry on both sides until crisp and golden – you may have to do this in batches if your pan is not big enough,
Remove, place on kitchen paper and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat some oil in (another) large non-stick frying pan and when very hot add the mushrooms. Fry for 3-5 minutes until they have started to colour and then add the remaining butter, garlic and rosemary. Fry for another 2-3 minutes until golden in colour. Taste, season and keep warm.
To serve, top the polenta slices with the mushrooms and crumble over the gorgonzola.
Verdict: This makes an excellent evening meal (the polenta could be made a day or two in advance) or an indulgent weekend brunch. The crunch of the polenta contrasts well with the soft mushrooms and the flavours of the 3 constituent ingeredients complement each other perfectly. Thoroughly recommended.
Drink: A pair of G’n’T’s.
Entertainment: Watching the ever familiar help screen of our BT Vision box (they let us keep it when we cancelled the contract, methinks they understand its true value) – the crappiest piece of technology since the Ronco Buttoneer and quaintly the only device this side of 1954 which still requires 5 minutes to warm up.