Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 28: Mushroom Saute on Charred Polenta and Seared Spicy Ham

1 24-ounce tube of prepared polenta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing the polenta and ham
12 slices deli-sliced capocolla, cut as thick as a slice of bacon
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, portobello, shiitake, or fresh porcini, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock or broth
1 15-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, such as Muir Glen brand
1 10-ounce sack of Italian cheese blend or shredded Provolone
   Green salad

Preheat a grill pan or large nonstick skillet to high. Cut the polenta into 12 disks. Pour the EVOO into a small dish. Using a pastry or grill brush, paint the polenta with EVOO and char the disks on each side, 5 or 6 minutes total.

Remove the polenta and cover with foil to keep warm. Brush the capocolla ham with EVOO and sear on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes total.

Preheat the broiler to high.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of the EVOO and butter. When the butter melts, add the garlic and shallots and swish around for 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms and combine.

Sprinkle the chopped thyme over the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms, stirring frequently, until they brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, stirring to evenly distribute. Whisk the red wine into the pan first and cook it off for a minute, then whisk in the stock.

Thicken the stock for a minute, then add the tomatoes and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

In a shallow casserole, layer the polenta with ham.

Top with the mushroom-tomato sauce and cover with the cheese. Place under the hot broiler 6 inches from the heat to melt and brown the cheese.

Serve with a green salad.


This is the first variation on the Mushroom Saute meal. It doesn't feel like the same meal at all, so I guess it accomplished it's goal. I like this meal, although when I commented to my husband that there was too much cheese (I used a 12 ounce package), he said that's like saying there's too much oxygen in the air. :) I used a little less oil for brushing and 1 tbsp less butter for this meal to try to cut back on the fat. I also added the salad to the ingredient list.

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