Monday, December 26, 2011

MUSHROOM SAUSAGE RAGU OVER HERBED POLENTA

This is such a homey, hearty dish. It could even be served as a main dish. The presentation is lovely, and because you can mold the polenta into any shape, you have a lot of options. I kept the polenta simple, with just a bit of basil and onions, so that the focus remained on the ragout. It looked and tasted lovely.

Ingredients:
1 cup dried chanterelle mushrooms (though it is better with fresh)
1 cup dried oyster mushrooms (though it is better with fresh)
6 cups No-Chicken stock
2 cups polenta (corn grits)
2 Tbs. dried basil
2 Tbs. dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
8 oz. fresh portabella mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. fresh button mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Field Roast Italian sausages
Pinch salt and pepper
2 shallots, chopped
1 small can water chestnuts, sliced
1 Tbs. tomato paste
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions:
Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Reconstitute the dried mushrooms by covering them with boiling water and letting them soak for an hour or two (or all day like I did). Heat stock in large sauce pan over high heat until boiling. Add polenta, minced onion, salt and basil. Return to boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. (Be careful as this dish tends to bubble a lot at the beginning). When done, scoop polenta into bowl and press down firmly. Cover bowl with the serving plate. Meanwhile, heat oil in large frying pan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, sausage and shallots, and sauté until golden brown. Add salt and water chestnuts and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Invert polenta onto serving plate. Top with mushroom ragout and sprinkle the top with fresh parsley. Lovely!

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