Monday, July 18, 2016

Creamy Mushrooms over Polenta with Asparagus


This recipe for creamy mushrooms over polenta is one of our favorite meals. It's easy to prepare, though it does require the use of the broiler -- a little hot for summer cooking. Even so, I make it year-round because it is so yummy. I've made some adaptations to this Everyday Food recipe, adding cornstarch to the sauce to thicken it, subbing vegetable broth for chicken, and using a tube of prepared polenta (plain or Italian herb) rather than baking it in a pan and cutting into wedges. This last substitution saves time, which is important for weekday meals.

I've started using avocado oil in my cooking. It is a heart-healthy fat and, unlike olive oil, it has a 500 degree F smoke point, so it's great for broiling. For comparison, extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 375 degrees F and canola oil has a smoke point of 435 degrees F. At its smoke point, an oil begins to break down and can have a bad odor and taste. Avocado oil can be used in baking, stir-frying, sauteing and in dressings and marinades. I buy Chosen Foods brand. 

Creamy Mushrooms over Polenta with Asparagus

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons avocado oil or vegetable oil
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, rubbed clean with a damp paper towel, trimmed and sliced 1/4" thick
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp. cornstarch, diluted in a small amount of cold water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tube prepared polenta, sliced 1/2" thick (I use Melissa's brand, refrigerated in the produce section of the grocery)
1 lb. fresh asparagus, tough ends removed 

Directions:
1) Heat oven broiler with rack 5 inches from heat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add broth and cornstarch and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Stir in cream and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

2) On a rimmed baking sheet, place polenta slices on one side and asparagus on the other. Brush polenta slices lightly with 1 teaspoon oil and drizzle remaining teaspoon oil over asparagus and toss. Season with salt and pepper. 

3) Broil until polenta is golden brown and asparagus is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes, tossing asparagus halfway through. Serve polenta with creamy mushrooms over it and asparagus on the side.

Bon appetit!    

2 comments:

  1. Looks great! I love to see weeknight vegetarian recipes! Do you recommend any other sources (other than EF) for vegetarians? I adapt from cookbooks and magazines, but often have difficulty finding satisfying recipes that don't require obscure ingredients. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hello A! I'm glad you found this recipe intriguing -- you should definitely give it a try! Almost all the recipes I make come from Everyday Food ... I have all 98 issues so there's a lot to choose from. You can find many of them online at marthastewart.com.
      Claudia

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