I am sure everyone is wondering where I have been for the last two months. I wish I could give you some glamorous answer, but the truth is that life got in my way: work deadlines and a trip to London; and I had a cold which then turned into the flu over the holidays. Now I am back and raring to go.
Winter has finally reared its head here in Israel and all I could think of was making comfort in a bowl. First, I made us a big pot of hearty chicken soup which nurtured Mr BT and me through the cold-flu episode. It healed us, warmed us and comforted us as it always does. Good old chicken soup.
When I finally had the energy to cook again, I decided to make the second best comfort in a bowl recipe, polenta. Soft polenta, stirred clockwise with a wooden paddle over a low flame and served with sautéed White Button mushrooms, King Oyster mushrooms, homegrown Cavolo Nero from my garden and creamy Gorgonzola cheese. Life can’t get much better than that.
I am looking forward to an interesting 2012, filled with new recipes, new adventures and some lovely surprises.
I wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.
4 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta (not instant)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, pale and green parts only, rinsed and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small bunch of Cavolo Nero, kale or Swiss Chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 package White Button or Cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
2 large King Oyster mushrooms, cut in half and then cut lengthwise
1/4 dry white wine
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
100g (3.5 oz) Gorgonzola Dolce
Place the water and salt in a large saucepan over a low flame. Immediately add the polenta in a steady stream while stirring constantly in a clockwise motion to avoid lumps. Stir ever few minutes in a clockwise motion until all the liquid is absorbed and the polenta is thick, approximately 30-40 minutes. The polenta should be soft and creamy, not grainy.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and add the leeks, garlic and Cavolo Nero. Saute until the leeks are slightly soft and barely golden, about 5 minutes. Place in a bowl and set aside. Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the mushrooms, cooking until they are softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the leek mixture and the white wine to the pan. When the wine is cooked down slightly, add the chopped thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
When the polenta has finished cooking, crumble in half of the Gorgonzola and mix through. Place the polenta on a large platter and form a well in the center. Place the mushroom mixture in the well and crumble the rest of the Gorgonzola on top.