Happy Monday everyone! I hope you guys had an amazing weekend! Zach and I hibernated all weekend as we got a significant amount of snow which was fine by me. I like when I get trapped inside. It almost forces me to get things done, but at a leisurely pace instead of a rushed one. I tend to feel better about myself when I’m not rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off in order to get things done. This goat cheese polenta with balsamic mushrooms recipe was born this weekend and it was the perfect comforting side dish to warm us up as the snow blanketed the ground.
What is it about snow that has us craving comforting foods? Is it the quiet? Is it the cold? Is it the homey feeling? I mean in all honesty, I crave comfort foods all the time which is probably why I post them at least 4-5 days a week, but there’s just something about a quiet snow fall that really has me wanting to get lost in the kitchen whipping up some of my favorite comfort foods.
Polenta is one of my favorite comfort foods. It must be that Italian-ness from my dad leaking through. You’d never know it. I have blonde hair, blue eyes and the fairest of skin, but my dad has dark features and olive skin, as does my mom who also has some Italian in her. I sometimes wonder where I came from, but it’s ok. I’ll take the blonde hair and blue eyes and the Italian last name and that horrendous Italian nose. It makes for good small talk though, for that in which I’m grateful.
This recipe is amazingly simple. I don’t often cook with quick-cooking polenta (or grits), but sometimes it’s just easier and I wouldn’t have had it any other way with this recipe. 10 minutes and boom, it’s done. Love it. If you feel like being an overachiever and have a ton of time, feel free to make polenta the old-fashioned way. I will not be offended. Add goat cheese and butter to the mix and I could eat it all by itself.
The mushrooms, I used a mix of my favorites, but use whatever your heart’s desire. I deglazed the pan with 3 tablespoons of very good 25 year-aged balsamic, which if I were you is the route I would go or something similar. There is definitely a large difference between the 5.99 stuff and the super duper aged stuff. Trust me on that one. Also, I tend to be kind of obsessed with vinegar, so if you aren’t as crazy feel free to decrease the amount to 1-2 tablespoons.
Garnish with more goat cheese and a sprinkling of micro greens. I personally like it served alongside a petite sirloin, but that’s just me. Pair this yumminess with a porter, it will really enhance that balsamic flavor. Recipe is below! Happy Monday! xo
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup quick-cooking polenta or grits
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces goat cheese, plus extra for topping
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces mixed mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- micro greens, for garnish
- Bring the 3 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes and then remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5-7 minutes or until fluffy and cooked through. Stir in the butter and goat cheese and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
- While the polenta is cooking, prepare your mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring frequently, until the vinegar has for the most part cooked out. Season with salt and black pepper where needed and remove from heat.
- Assemble your polenta in a small serving dish and top with the balsamic mushrooms, a sprinkle of goat cheese and a garnish of micro greens.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!