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Creamy Polenta and Mushroom Ragout


IMG_1117, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

I really need to buy some plates that aren't white. Everything I make looks all washed out when I try to get a good shot for the blog.

In all honesty, I think whoever blogged this recipe originally must have photoshopped the hell out of the pic I saw of this. There is no way a sauce made with red wine and cream can be anything other than purple.

And I wish I knew to whom to credit this recipe. When I first started my recipe database, I neglected to record where I got the recipe. I have since diligently recorded which blogs I pillage. Anyhoo, if anyone knows who's recipe this is, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. And believe me, this is sooooooo yummie.

I started by defrosting 2 chicken breasts and beating them senseless with my meat mallet until they were cutlet thin. I then dredged them in a beaten egg (mixed with some hot sauce) and breaded them with panko (mixed with my dad's version of Emeril Lagasse's Essence- kinda spicy). I put them on a baking sheet and baked them at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. To finish them, I put them under the broiler to brown them a bit. Under a foil tent they went to stay toasty while I made the polenta and mushroom ragout. The chicken part was not in the original recipe, but I needed a meat to round out the dinner.

To make the polenta I boiled 4 cups of water and added some salt, then whisked in 1 cup of corn meal. I think most people use yellow corn meal to make polenta, but I didn't have any, so I used white. After I whisked in the polenta, I switched to a wooden spoon and added 4 tablespoons of butter (yes, that's half a stick). I put the heat on low and let it hang out about 15 minutes. I cubed up 4 ounces of cream cheese (no one said this was healthy) and mixed it in. Oh- and I chopped up a couple of teaspoons of fresh sage. I peppered it and put the lid on to keep it warm til I needed it.

On to the ragout. I put the other 4 tablespoons of butter (for those counting- we are up to 1 whole stick of butter in this meal) in a large skillet and put it on medium high heat. When the butter was melted I added 4 cups of sliced cremini mushrooms (that was about a package and a half). I added a teaspoon of salt to help draw out the moisture, and about 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. After the mushrooms released their liquid and got all soft, I added 1/4 cup of red wine (I used cheap merlot) and 1/4 cup heavy cream- and a pinch of salt. I stirred and backed the heat off to medium. I let it reduce about 10 minutes. Because I thought it was still a little thin, I put about a teaspoon of corn starch and the same amount of water in a little dish and mixed it well. I added it to the bubbling mushroom sauce and it almost instantly tightened up and became super glossy.

To serve all this, I put a bed of polenta on the plate, topped it with a ladleful of mushroom ragout, then put the chicken cutlet on the top. I garnished with a few leave of fresh sage.

So, not very photogenic, but killler good.

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