Everyday Mom's Meals: Not So Good

Monday, June 4, 2012

Not So Good

I'm not even going to lie to you. This recipe was not my most favorite that I've tried. It did NOT turn out the way I had envisioned it...at all. However, I think we as food bloggers have a responsibility to our loyal readers to share our missteps in the kitchen. One, just because I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, doesn't mean you won't. Secondly, maybe whatever small thing I might not have executed just the right way, you will and get a totally different result. And lastly, and I think most importantly, I want my fans to know I have screw ups while I cook too. Just because I share recipes and things I love to eat and yes they turn out really well 99% of the time, does not mean I don't have failures also. So with all of that said, let me explain why I even attempted this recipe to begin with. I've heard so much about polenta, and how tasty it is for so long I wanted to try it. And when I have the chance to fix something new, I do try to pair it with something we love so that it makes it more familiar to our tongues. I found a great recipe for the polenta, and then the pairing was from one of my favorite television chefs, Geoffrey Zakarian~ how could I go wrong?? I mean, he's an Iron Chef for crying out loud! Well, his part wasn't problem! I've read that making polenta, good polenta, is an true art, and now I know that for myself. I will definitely try this again, no doubt about it. You can't keep a good foodie down for long. As far as the mushroom component goes, come back Wednesday to see how I salvaged it, changed it a bit and was able to use it for another meal! Don't be afraid of your "oops" moments in the kitchen! They not only make us better cooks, they teach us something each and every time.

Creamy Polenta with Mushroom Ragout Adapted from Food.com
2 c. half and half
2 c. water
1 1/2 c. corn meal
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 TBS butter
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus garnish
Pepper to taste

1 lb. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
1/2 c. chicken stock
3 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp dried parsley, plus garnish

In a large skillet, bring butter and oil to medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and chicken stock. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add parsley and keep warm.

In a medium sauce pan, bring half and half and water to a boil. Add the salt and gradually add the polenta while stirring. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring or whisking constantly. The polenta should be smooth and large bubbles will pop on surface. Cook until very thick, but NOT stiff, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter and pepper. Serve individual portions with mushrooms on top, and garnished with extra cheese and parsley.

*NOTE* The problem with mine was a texture thing. I did not stir mine enough and it wasn't as smooth as I would have liked it. Also, I only had shredded Parmesan on hand, and I think the grated would have combined better.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals June 4, 2012
Shared on Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen June 4, 2012 
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box June 5, 2012
Italian at Very Good Recipes
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Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

Since you didn't ask, but I am here anyway, there are a couple of things that come to mind....

Butter AND half and half may have added too much fat to the dish. I make mine with whole milk and butter and it is plenty creamy.


Parmesan Cheese is not a great melting cheese. It actually only melts in liquids, so especially when you are making this with larger pieces, best to add in the milk just before you start adding the corn meal.

And speaking of corn meal, they do make a special meal just for polenta. Makes a creamier polenta.

Finally, possibly try adding a couple TBS of extra milk so it is less firm.

And just to spark an inspiration, I am a Blue Cheese Polenta FIEND! This is a great side dish and worth a second try


Krista said...

Thanks for the tips Dave. I will definitely try it again!