Soft Polenta with Mushrooms and Consommé. Cook up a batch of cheesy polenta to pair with the earthy deliciousness of mushrooms for a sophisticated meal.
30g porcini mushrooms
1 small onion, quartered
1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
250g brown button mushrooms
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves
½ tsp thyme leaves
3 eggs, separated
10 cups chicken stock
1 onion, finely chopped
100g parmesan cheese, finely
grated, plus extra to serve
¼ cup olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
250g field mushrooms, sliced
200g shiitake mushrooms (or other mushroom variety), sliced
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Soak porcini mushrooms in enough boiling water to cover for 30 minutes. Remove and reserve the liquid.
Combine onion, carrot, celery, button mushrooms, half of the porcini mushrooms, parsley and thyme in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Remove to a medium bowl and stir in eggwhites.
Warm 4 cups of the stock with the reserved porcini liquid in a large saucepan, over a low heat. Whisk in vegetable mixture. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the egg foam rises to the surface. When the egg starts to solidify, make a hole in the centre with the end of a wooden spoon. Simmer gently until the egg mixture is solid, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Gently move the foam to the side of the pot and ladle out the consommé. Strain the consommé through a sieve lined with a slightly dampened cheesecloth into a large saucepan. Season and set aside until ready to use.
Meanwhile, to make the polenta, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining chicken stock.
Gradually add the polenta into the boiling stock, reduce heat to low, and stir for about 10 minutes until thick. Stir in the egg yolks and parmesan, and season. Spoon half the polenta into a greased baking dish spreading evenly. Cover and refrigerate the extra half for a Spanish-tapas inspired dish for tomorrow, click here for recipe.
To cook the mushrooms, heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft and golden. Add remaining porcini and cook gently.
Add the field and shiitake mushrooms and season to taste. Cook for about 15 minutes, then add the butter. Simmer another 2-3 minutes, adjust seasonings. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Place polenta in a bowl, top with mushrooms, freshly cracked black pepper and extra parmesan. Serve with hot mushroom consommé.