• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 5 Servings

Shitake Stew with Crisp Polenta

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Main Dish

 Ingredients List

  • ----------------------------------POLENTA----------------------------------
  • 1 c Cornmeal
  • 1/2 c Water, cold
  • 2 c Water, boiling
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Flour, for dusting board
  • Olive oil, for frying


2 tb Olive oil
1 Shallot, minced
8 lg Shiitake mushrooms, stems
-removed, thinly sliced
4 Sun-dried tomatoes, drained
-and diced
1/4 c Brandy
1 ts Worcestershire sauce
1 ts Thyme
1 ds Nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 c Heavy cream
2 c Spinach, raw and chopped

For the Polenta: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal and
cold water to make a smooth paste. Add to boiling water and stir vigorously
with a wooden spoon. The polenta will thicken and form a ball. Add the
cheese, salt, and black pepper and beat by hand for 1 minutes until elastic
and smooth. Place the polenta in a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, cover,
and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove the polenta from the loaf pan by inverting it onto a cutting board.
Slice it into 1/4 inch thick squares or triangles. Roll the top edge (and
sides, if you like it hot!) of each polenta slice in red pepper flakes,
then dust the entire surface with flour. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan
over moderate heat, and brown and crisp the polenta slices on each side.
Transfer to a serving platter or individual soup plates.

For the Stew: To make the stew, heat the oil in a saucepan over moderate
heat and add the shallot, stirring while sauteing until lightly browned.
Add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, sauteing until the mushrooms have
absorbed the oil and the pan is dry. Remove pan from stovetop, and add the
brandy. Lower heat and return pan to the stovetop, being wary of flames.
Cook on low for 1 minutes, then add the Worcestershire sauce, thyme,
nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cream. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Simmer
for 20 minutes, or until the cream has reduced by half. Add the spinach
just before serving and stir until just wilted. Serve stew over the
NOTES : Jennifer Trainer Thompson, the author of this fine cookbook says,
"In the small town where I live, chef Scott Avery at Savories Restaurant
serves this rich shitake stew, which is satisfying on a winter night by the
restaurant's roaring fire." She also says that this will serve six as an

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