Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets

Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets recipe

Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets make an unforgettable side dish with chervil, tarragon and garlicky mushrooms over a bed of polenta, all wrapped up in neat little parcels that keep the aromas and flavors trapped inside.

Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets make a fun and hearty side dish

It’s no secret that I love cooking with parchment.  I use if for just about everything from lining my baking sheets to steaming fish, pasta, and veggies.  Today I’ve made little rustic packets of mushrooms and creamy polenta.  The flavors are completely alluring, and I bet you’ve never had anything quite like this before.  It starts with a layer of polenta, or cooked cornmeal.  Polenta can be a little bland on its own, in fact I often have to load it up with butter and cheese to give some oomph.  But I’ve discovered that if I simmer the cornmeal in  SWANSON® Natural Goodness® Chicken Broth instead of water, the flavor is amazing and there’s no need for additional seasoning.

SWANSON® Chicken Broth

The cornmeal absorbs the broth as it cooks and results in a perfectly seasoned polenta.  For this recipe the new 24 ounce bottle is just the right amount.  It features a cool Easy Measure Strip on the side, which means you can pour exactly what you need without hauling out the measuring cups.  I used chicken broth but you can use beef or vegetable broth as well, with equally great results.

Wild Mushroom Polenta packets made with Swanson® Chicken Broth

The broth-infused polenta goes into the packets first as a base for the mushrooms.  I use a combination of dried wild mushrooms and fresh, both buttons and creminis.  Don’t skip the dried mushrooms, you’ll find them in little packets in your grocery store.  They add so much depth of flavor to any mushroom dish and all they need is a short soak in warm water to reconstitute them.  Choose any kind you like, they will all work.  Mine are baby shitakes.

Wild mushrooms soaking for Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets

The nice thing about this dish is that all you do is toss the mushrooms together with the rest of the ingredients and layer it over the polenta in the parchment.  It all steams to perfection in the oven as the flavorful moisture released from the mushrooms gets trapped inside the packet.

Polenta for Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets

Mushrooms for Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets

These Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets are an adaptation of one of Yotam Otteolenghi’s from his wonderful cookbook Plenty.  The unusual pairing of chervil and tarragon makes a welcome change of pace — and it’s worth noting that something as simple as changing out your usual herbs can make a huge difference in your enjoyment of a meal.  Chervil, which is sometimes called French parsley, has a delicate leaf and slight licorice flavor.  Tarragon is a little more common here in the States but is still vastly under appreciated, if you ask me.  They are two of the four herbs that make up the French fines herbes, the other two being parsley and chives.

Individual Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets

I highly recommend this, the aromas and flavors are fantastic.  It makes a great side dish for chicken or other meats, but sometimes I like to fill the packets a little fuller and serve it as a supper all on its own, with a nice glass of Chardonnay.

Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup polenta, or cornmeal
  • 3 cups (24 ounces) SWANSON® Natural Goodness® Chicken Broth
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • a 1/2 ounce package of dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 lb assorted button and cremini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chervil, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp Marsala (or dry sherry)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 4 squares of parchment paper, 15 inches x 15 inches
  • oven safe string
    garnish
  • more toasted pine nuts
  • fresh chervil leaves

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 400F
  2. Soak the dried mushrooms in lukewarm water for about 3o minutes, drain and give them a rough chop. Set aside.
  3. Heat the broth in a saucepan on the stove until it comes to a boil. Add the cornmeal slowly, while whisking. Cook, stirring often, until the polenta becomes very thick. This will take about 15 minutes or so. Add the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile brush off the fresh mushrooms, trim the ends of the stems, and give them a rough chop. I like the pieces to be chunky.
  5. Toss the mushrooms, dried mushrooms, garlic, herbs, oil, cream, and Marsala in a bowl until well combined.
  6. Ladle some polenta in the center of a piece of parchment, and then top with 1/4 of the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle the top with the pine nuts. Tie it up into a bundle and secure with string. Do the same for the other packets.
  7. Set the packets on a baking sheet and bake for about 17-20 minutes. They should be hot and bubbling inside.
  8. Serve hot, right from the packets, with a few more pine nuts and a little fresh chervil sprinkled on top.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/wild-mushroom-polenta-packets/

notes:

  • Use Swanson® Beef or Vegetable Broth with equally good results in this dish.  The technique of cooking grains or legumes in broth instead of water is one I use over and over again to infuse extra flavor in food without adding heavy or fattening ingredients.
  • An easy way to make the packets is to set the parchment square over a bowl and punch it down, then you can add your polenta and mushrooms and tie it up.  The bowl helps maintain the pouch shape as you fill and tie it.
  • You can add grated Parmesan cheese to the polenta at the end, or use it as a garnish over the finished packets if you like.
  • Fyi, we had success reheating the leftover packets in the microwave.
  • Ottolenghi flavors his mushrooms with Pernod, an anise flavored liqueur.  If you love licorice flavors, use that.
  • If you’re not into parchment, don’t miss out on this dish, just layer the polenta into a shallow casserole dish and top with the mushrooms.  Cover tightly with foil and cook for about 25 minutes, or until everything is hot and bubbling.

Individual Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets

 

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Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets make a fun, woodsy side dish or light supper.

*These Wild Mushroom Polenta Packets were conceived and shared in association with Swanson®.  Thanks to all of you for supporting my sponsors, I only work with brands I trust and use myself.   <3

 

 

32 Comments

  • Reply
    Riya Ahuja
    January 3, 2017 at 2:05 am

    These are insane! Love these, and need to make them soon!!!

  • Reply
    Alisha Batra
    December 16, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Mmmmmm…..yum. This looks totally amazing. I’m just starring at the screen looking at how delicious they look.

  • Reply
    Yami Gupta
    September 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Such a great idea. This sounds so zesty and delicious! I cannot wait to try it out!

  • Reply
    Nikita Arora
    September 13, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Oh yum, they look amazing…I could eat them now. Thanks for the recipe! :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 13, 2016 at 7:50 am

      You’re so welcome, Nikita, I loved these, and there’s lots of ways you can vary this idea, too.

  • Reply
    Roshani Khanna
    August 30, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Such a great idea, Sue . Love the flavors in these! My boys would devour them quickly.

  • Reply
    Isabelle @ Crumb
    February 20, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    This sounds like perfect cold-weather comfort food. I love the little parchment packets… such a fun presentation, especially if you’re having guests over. It’s like everyone gets a little gift-wrapped present for dinner. :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 20, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Exactly! Thanks for stopping by, Isabelle :)

  • Reply
    lisa @ wine and glue
    February 20, 2016 at 6:41 am

    These look amazing!! Isn’t it incredible how cooking with a little Swanson broth can totally change a recipe?? I love cooking my noodles in it before adding them to a casserole. It takes it from really good to AMAZING!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
    February 19, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Ok, I need to try this immediately. I love polenta, and always cook it in chicken broth for more flavor. But those mushrooms on top and made it a little packet. Totally in love!

  • Reply
    Angie | Big Bear's Wife
    February 19, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I always buy parchment for baking cookies and cake decorating but I don’t normally cook with it, however I’m getting ready to start after reading about these polenta packets. I just bought polenta the other day and I was wondering that I was going to make with it. This is it!!

  • Reply
    Candace
    February 18, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    You’ve outdone yourself again, Sue! I love cooking in parchment and this appealed to me right away! I made it for dinner this evening – it was a total hit with both Mr. Squash and I! Thank you so much for another tasty, unusual and wonderful dish!
    Cheers!

  • Reply
    Rosemary Wolbert | Sprigs of Rosemary
    February 18, 2016 at 4:54 am

    I have to admit, I tend to shy away from polenta because, as you said, it’s often so bland! The broth is a great way to flavor it up. And cooking with parchment is just such fun, like opening a present. And you alrady had me at mushrooms . . . guess I’ll be cooking up something new this weekend!

  • Reply
    Diane {Created by Diane}
    February 17, 2016 at 11:38 am

    What a cute little dinner package, the aroma must be amazing as soon as you open that little bundle of deliciousness!

  • Reply
    Barbara | Creative Culinary
    February 17, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Oh these are just adorable even before digging in! I simply love mushrooms so I know this would be a winner here; great recipe!

  • Reply
    Brianne Izzo
    February 17, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Mushrooms and polenta – you are speaking my love language!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 17, 2016 at 7:28 am

      Haha!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    February 16, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    I love polenta with mushrooms so this is my dream meal!

  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    February 16, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    This sounds heavenly. I can’t wait to try this. I could eat this daily it sounds so comforting and it’s pretty!

  • Reply
    Denise @ Sweet Peas & Saffron
    February 16, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    These are so creative! I love everything about it: the polenta, the mushrooms, and especially the cute packaging :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 16, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Thanks Denise <3

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    February 16, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I am fascinated by this recipe! I adore mushrooms and polenta so I know I would love the combination. The clean-up would be non-existent – I LOVE this recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 16, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Let’s hear it for non-existent clean up!

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    February 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    What a delicious recipe for polenta and mushrooms! Love the packets idea – have to try it soon!

  • Reply
    cheri
    February 16, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Hi Sue, a perfect combination of ingredients that meld so well together. Love your little packets of goodness!

  • Reply
    Liz
    February 16, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Mushrooms and polenta is such a terrific combo, but you’ve gone even further by adding delectable herbs and cooking in parchment! What an amazing dish, Sue!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 16, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Thanks Liz, for me the special thing about this is the rich flavor of the chicken broth-cooked polenta along with the unusual herb combo. But then again, everything just tastes better all wrapped up in a package ;)

  • Reply
    Susan
    February 16, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I love this idea of yours, Sue! Wouldn’t these be great as little picnic packets that get warmed on a grill and served with some sort of grilled chicken ?!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 16, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Yes, absolutely, I think you could definitely do that, I’m always surprised at how sturdy parchment paper is —

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    February 16, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I could definitely enjoy a packet of this polenta for dinner. It sounds amazing and this is such a charming presentation!

  • Reply
    DWT
    February 16, 2016 at 8:09 am

    This looks like such fun!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen chervil, can you suggest a substitute? I can’t wait to try this :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 16, 2016 at 8:25 am

      If you shop at a large supermarket you should see it with the other herbs that are packaged in the little plastic boxes. There really is not substitute, but feel free to use another herb you like, or even just parsley.

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