It was 34 degrees this morning. But the day was brilliantly clear and bright. The bright blue sky contrasted with the red of the Japanese maples.
I'm still working my way through my pantry trying to use up the open packages of staple goods so I can freshen up my cupboard. I found a half used package of instant polenta from when I made the Chocolate Polenta Tart from Dolce Italiano. Warm soft polenta is a great food for a cold fall day.
I decided to top it with mushrooms. They would need to have a strong flavor to stand up to the polenta so I softened some dried porcini mushrooms, diced up a small fresh tomato and finished it with a dash of Marsala. It was just the comfort food we were looking for.
I didn't follow a recipe so here is an approximate recipe for two people.
3/4 lb mushroms, cleaned and sliced
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion or shallot
large pinch salt
1 clove garlic coarsely chopped
2 TBS dried porcini softened in 1 cup of hot water
1 small tomato chopped
1 tbs fresh chopped herbs (combination of sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley)
2 tbs marsala wine
Heat olive in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add sliced mushrooms and saute over medium heat. Add pinch of salt to help the mushrooms to cook.
When the mushrooms have started to reduce, add the garlic and saute a bit longer. Chop the soften porcini and add. Add the chopped tomato. Add about 1/4 cup of liquid from the soaked mushroom and cook until the liquid is mostly reduced. Add herbs and marsala and cook until fully reduced.
1 cup instant Polenta (Moretti)
4 cups of water and mushroom liquid
pinch of salt
1 cup cheese (combination of fontina, gruyere, parmesan)
Bring water to boil. Reduce heat to a brisk simmer and slowly whisk in polenta with a wire. whisk. Cook until thickened. Stir in cheese and serve immediately.