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Fried Polenta Squares with Creamy Mushroom Ragu

  • Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Course: Appetizers & Snacks

You won’t be able to resist this hearty, heart-warming side dish from Beth Kirby of Local Milk.

Reynolds Kitchen Tips

Reynolds Kitchens tip

Line your baking pan with Reynolds Wrap®Aluminum Foil for perfect polenta every time!

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound mixed wild mushrooms (like shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, hen of the woods), cleaned and sliced
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Squeeze of lemon juice to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil

Directions

Step 1

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta. Once it begins to thicken, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes until creamy and thick, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir in the Parmesan and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir until melted and cheese is no longer visible. Remove from heat.

Step 2

Line an 8x11 inch baking dish with Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil and carefully pour the polenta into the baking dish, using a spatula to smooth it to an even thickness, about 3/4 inch. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days until firm.

Step 3

While the polenta chills, make your ragu. In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until simmering. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent browning. Add mushrooms and thyme and cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms start to release their liquid. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook another 5 minutes until they begin to soften more.

Step 4

Add flour, stirring, until it is no longer visible, about 1 minute. Add in the wine, cream and sugar, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Taste and adjust salt if desired. Simmer until thick and creamy and the mushrooms are nicely coated, about 15 minutes. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup minced parsley. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

Step 5

Slice your polenta into squares — whatever size you desire. Wipe down your skillet, coat it with nonstick cooking spray, and heat it over medium-high. Fry the squares in the pan until golden brown and warmed through. To serve, top the squares with warm mushroom ragu.

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