Baked Polenta with Mushrooms
3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1½ cups milk
1½ cups coarse or medium cornmeal
3 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
1½ teaspoons salt
7 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
¾ lb. white mushrooms, brushed clean, stems removed and caps coarsely chopped
½ lb. cremini mushrooms, brushed clean, stems removed and caps coarsely chopped
¼ lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms, brushed clean, stems removed and caps coarsely chopped
¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
6 ounces fontina, grated (about 1 ½ cups)
Heat the oven to 350°. Combine the parsley and garlic on a cutting board and chop together finely, then set aside. Butter an 8-by-12-inch baking dish.
Pour the milk into a large bowl. Gradually add the cornmeal, stirring until smooth. In a saucepan over high heat, bring the water and 1 tsp salt to a boil. Gradually stir the cornmeal mixture into the water. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until very thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 20 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan.
Meanwhile, In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add half the mushrooms, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of the pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Remove. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms, 1 tablespoon each butter and oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Finally, add all the mushrooms and the parsley-garlic mixture to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
Pour half the polenta into the baking dish and spread in an even layer. Top with ¾ of the mushrooms, followed by ¾ of the fontina and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Spoon the remaining half of the polenta on top and spread in a smooth layer. Top with the remaining mushrooms, remaining fontina, and 2 Tbl. Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine