Saturday, January 16, 2010

Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Mushrooms

It has been so gray and dreary here.  It is winter after all, but still...we've had fog for days on end.  We had two days this past week where the sun was shining and the temperatures were leaning toward 70.  It was a lovely reminder of what we have in store in a few months.  But it was just a teaser as we are back to the same old gray.

This weather has definitely made me feel like cooking soups and stews, casseroles and cookies.  I had a log of prepared polenta in the fridge and got online to find a new recipe to try.  I came across this gratin at foodandwine.com.  I substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth, used just cremini mushrooms and used swiss cheese instead of the Gruyère because I already had some in the fridge.  Comfort food at its finest!

Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil
12 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
1 large shallot, minced
8 oz prewashed baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon thyme
pinch of nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup cream
One 18 oz log of prepare polenta, cut into 1/4" slices
3 ounces swiss cheese, shredded (1 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the shallot and cook over moderately low heat for 3 minutes. Add the spinach, thyme and nutmeg and cook over high heat until the spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 
Spread the spinach evenly in a 2-quart baking dish

                         In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour over moderately high heat. 
Add the stock and cream and whisk until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pour over the spinach. Arrange the polenta slices on top of the spinach in overlapping concentric circles, pressing to submerge the polenta slightly. 
Sprinkle the swiss cheese on the polenta, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Preheat the broiler. Uncover the polenta and broil 6 inches from the heat for about 2 minutes, or until golden. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


sam said...

Oh, yum. This looks so good! I wish just one other person in my household would be willing to eat it...

JGH said...

Exactly, Sam. It's definitely the kind of thing I'd cook for myself every day if it were all up to me. If only I were eating alone!

Guinnah said...

I guess that is one of the benefits of the empty nest - we get to have whatever we want (and dh will eat just about anything!)

waukesha car accident lawyer said...

This dish looks great as well. Thanks for the recipe.