Many Mushroom Stew with Winter Squash Polenta
Polenta with Winter Squash
The polenta can be made with any type of winter squash peeled and diced. I love kabocha, red kuri and butternut for their texture. Combined with the Many Mushroom Stew this is a delicious meatless supper.
4-5 cups water, mushroom or vegetable stock or chicken stock (not vegetarian)
1 cup polenta meal
1 cup peeled and diced butternut squash– see above
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup grated parmesan, pecorino or comté cheese
In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring water or stock to a boil. Add the salt. Turn down to medium heat and add polenta slowly in a steady stream. Whisk to insure you don’t get lumps. Add in the diced squash and reduce the heat to low. Continue to stir frequently until the grains are tender and the polenta is thick, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You may need to add a diffuser as the polenta thickens. The squash should be tender as well.
Add the pepper and cheese and stir well. Keep warm until ready to serve. A double boiler works great for this. I butter a piece of parchment paper and place it directly over the polenta so that it doesn’t form a skin on the surface.
Many Mushroom Stew
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in water to reconstitute
4 cups mixed fresh mushrooms. Add as many wild variety’s as you can find like chanterelles and hedgehogs. Trimmed and quartered or left whole if small.
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
2 shallots minced
1 tablespoon tomato concentrate or ¼ cup diced, peeled tomatoes
2 cloves garlic peeled, thinly sliced and blanched
½-1 ounce dry sherry
The soaking liquid from the dried porcini strained thru a fine sieve for the sediment removal
2-3 branches of thyme or sage de-stemmed and thinly sliced
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup vegetable, mushroom or chicken stock (not vegetarian)
2 tablespoons minced parsley
additional grated cheese if desired like parmesan, comté or pecorino
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil or butter. Add the shallots, garlic and the fresh mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms start to release their juices. Add the thyme, reconstituted porcini mushrooms and the tomato paste and cook until blended, then add the sherry and deglaze the pan. Add the porcini soaking liquid and the stock and simmer until the liquid is reduced and thickened.
Serve over the heated polenta and sprinkle with minced parsley and additional cheese if desired.