Mushroom ragout over creamy polenta
- 1/2 oz. dried porcini (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 tab. unsalted butter
- 2 tab. olive oil
- 3 med. shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 lbs. fresh mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, cremini, hen of the woods), trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth
- 2 tab. heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as tarragon, parsley, thyme, chives, and sage.
- 1 cup instant polenta
- 1/4 cup mascarpone
- 1/2 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-reggiano (1/2 cup using a rasp grater)
In a small bowl, soak the porcini in 1 1/2 cup warm water until softened, about 10 minutes. Left the mushrooms out and reserve 1 cup of the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.
Meanwhile, in a 8-quart Dutch oven or another heavy-duty pot, heat 1 tab. of the butter with the olive oil over med. heat. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms and 1 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the porcini and cook until the mushrooms are very tender and release their liquid, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook until all the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved cup of porcini liquid, leaving any sediment behind in the measuring cup, cook until reduced to about 3/4 cup, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and 3 tab. of herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a 4-quart heavy-duty saucepan over med.-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tsp. salt and then gradually whisk in the polenta. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the polenta absorbs the water and thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tab. butter and mascarpone. Add the Parmigiano and stir until combined. Serve the polenta topped with the mushroom ragout and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tab. herbs.