cornmeal

Mamaliga with Creamy Mushroom Ragout

Today is one of those days when I don't feel like eating meat. I don't even feel like removing the grill cover to cook up an easy burger or hot dog. I don't want fish or chicken either. It's just one of those days.

But I do want something substantial, filling and savory. For this kind of mood, nothing fills the bill better than something with mushrooms. 

Mushroom Pot Pie is one of our family favorites. But today I decided on a creamy mushroom ragout served over cooked cornmeal -- also known as polenta, but which my grandma called mamaliga (and my father called cornmeal mush).

Bonus: it can be reheated either in the microwave or preheated 350 degree oven.

Dinner's done. Maybe some sliced tomatoes on the side.

 

Mamaliga with Mushrooms in Sour Cream Sauce

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • salt, approximately one teaspoon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 pounds mixed fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2/3 cup dairy sour cream or plain, Greek style yogurt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Pour the 4 cups of water into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Gradually add the cornmeal and about one teaspoon salt, while also stirring constantly. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter. Cover the pan and set it aside. Heat the olive oil and the remaining one tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and all the juices have evaporated from the pan. Stir in the sour cream, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat. Spoon the mamaliga into serving bowls, spoon the mushrooms on top, sprinkle with chives and serve.

 

Makes 4 servings