Wild Mushroom Stew Over Rustic Polenta

Updated 12/28/2010 10:46 AM

Mushroom stew

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

cup shallots, diced

1 pound mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, porcini, etc.), sliced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

cup chicken broth

cup sherry

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon thyme

Salt and pepper to taste


1 cups chicken broth

cup half-and-half

teaspoon salt

teaspoon nutmeg

teaspoon white pepper

cup stone ground corn meal

cup parmesan, grated, plus more for garnish

For the stew: Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium flame and saute shallots until softened. Turn heat to high and brown half the mushrooms, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil and brown remaining mushrooms. Return reserved mushrooms to pan; add tomato paste and stir, letting it caramelize a bit, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, sherry and vinegar. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Add rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.

For the polenta: Combine broth, half-and-half, salt, nutmeg and white pepper in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, about 5-7 minutes, stirring often until meal is soft. Stir in parmesan. To serve, scoop polenta into a shallow bowl; ladle mushroom ragu over all. Sprinkle with more parmesan if desired.

Serves four.

Dan Peloza and D'arcy Rea