I saw this recipe in the October issue of More Magazine. I cut it out and it’s been top of my heap of things to make ever since, but I’ve only just gotten around to it. I added some bacon and shallots to the Brussels sprouts, as well as some cheese and chicken stock to the polenta. It’s really good.
Polenta with Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms ~~~ adapted from More Magazine
oven to 400
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
6 oz baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
parsley for garnish
grated Parmesan or Romano for garnish
For the polenta:
1 cup yellow corn meal
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, or Romano cheese
2 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper
(leave out the bacon and replace chicken stock with vegetable stock for a vegetarian dish)
Spread out the bacon pieces on a baking sheet and roast for about 5 minutes until it’s crisp and the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon and set aside, but leave the fat. Put the Brussels sprouts on the pan and toss with a little olive oil and the bacon fat. Roast for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add the mushrooms, garlic and shallots, salt and pepper to the pan and roast for another 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the sprouts are just tender.
Meanwhile make the polenta: put the corn meal in a pot set on medium high heat. Whisk in the stock and milk while heating to a boil, stirring often. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until the polenta is thick. Finish with two tablespoons of butter, and the cheese, stirring until melted and check the seasoning. If the polenta gets too thick you can always add more stock or milk. You’re aiming for the consistency of oatmeal.
Ladle the polenta into bowls and top with the Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. Garnish with parsley and grated cheese.
Note: This dish earns high marks from me, I will make it again, but it does not have a sauce. If you would prefer a sauce, use this alternate method: (you will need an extra 1/2 cup of stock, a little more butter, and 1/4 cup of sherry, Marsala, or white wine)
Instead of roasting the shallot, garlic and mushrooms in the oven with the sprouts, put them in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter and saute on medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. When the mushrooms are browned, deglaze the pan with the wine, and then add the stock. Cook on high to reduce the stock a bit. Then add the sprouts and bacon, heat through and finish the sauce with 1 Tbsp of butter. Check the seasonings. Spoon over the polenta and finish as before. I think I would prefer this way because the little bit of sauce would be nice with the polenta.