Easy Baked Polenta with Mushroom Topping
From Cook's Country
Creamy polenta—basically a porridge of cornmeal and water—is a comforting Italian side dish, but cooking it on the stovetop means up to a half-hour of nonstop stirring. Using the same ratio of cornmeal to water (1:4) and the right kind of polenta (medium-grain polenta or cornmeal), we were able to adapt traditional polenta into a completely hands-off dish. A shallow-sided baking dish sped up the cooking time, and a moderate oven prevented the liquid from evaporating too quickly, which could cause dry pockets. Butter and Parmesan stirred in at the end added richness.
Serves 6 to 8
You can use medium-grind cornmeal in place of the polenta; they are different names for the same thing. Don’t use instant polenta, however. You can substitute 1½ pounds of any fresh, wild mushrooms, such as oyster, for the white mushrooms (wild mushrooms tend to have more waste when trimming than white mushrooms).
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