Polenta with Porcini and Peppers

SERVES 4 to 6


  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large sweet red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar.
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup white or yellow stone ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place the porcini in a bowl and cover them with warm water; allow them to rehydrate (about 20 minutes). Drain and coarsely chop them.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the peppers and cook them until they soften. Splash them with the vinegar and allow it to evaporate. Transfer the pepper strips to a dish.
  3. In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add the mushrooms; cook them over medium heat for about 4 minutes.  Return the peppers to the pan; season the mixture with salt and pepper and mix well.  Keep covered and warm while the polenta cooks.
  4. Pour the milk into a heavy duty 2 quart sauce pan and stir in the cornmeal.
  5. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until the cornmeal thickens and begins to bubble and leave the sides of the pan. Season with salt and pepper and pour the mixture out onto a platter and serve immediately.  Or you may pour the polenta on a greased bake sheet and spread it out evenly; chill until firm.  When ready to serve, cut into rounds with a cookie cutter, lift them with a spatula and reheat in a bit of olive oil in a frying pan. 
  6. Top the polenta with the mushroom mixture. Serve hot.

This recipe was featured on Season 21 - Episode 2109.

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