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Polenta with Smoky Mushroom Ragout

Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro
Yield 8 servings
Baking polenta in the oven, as opposed to using the traditional method of stovetop cooking, frees you so you can prepare the mushroom topping. Oyster mushrooms are fan-shaped and have a peppery bite that softens during cooking. The smokiness of chipotle chiles unexpectedly complements the mushrooms.

Ingredients

  • Polenta:
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry polenta
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Ragout:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 8 cups sliced oyster mushroom caps (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Côtes du Rhône or other fruity red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped drained canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Nutrition Information

  • calories 250
  • caloriesfromfat 20 %
  • fat 5.6 g
  • satfat 2.6 g
  • monofat 2.4 g
  • polyfat 0.3 g
  • protein 11.3 g
  • carbohydrate 38.9 g
  • fiber 5.8 g
  • cholesterol 13 mg
  • iron 2.5 mg
  • sodium 769 mg
  • calcium 108 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. To prepare polenta, combine first 4 ingredients in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, stirring well. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until liquid is absorbed. Cover polenta and keep warm.

  3. To prepare ragout, while polenta bakes, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 10 minutes or until mushrooms release moisture and begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Add wine, chiles, oregano, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes, and cook over low heat 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.

  4. Spoon ragout over polenta; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until cheese begins to melt. Sprinkle with cilantro.