Even though it was in the 80s today, it felt like a perfect fall day. My original Saturday plans fell through and I found myself on a spontaneous apple picking trip in the late afternoon. I made away with a peck of apples and the lingering autumn sunshine in my hair.
Having worked up an appetite and inspired by this tantalizing post, I pulled together the ingredients that I had in my kitchen and whipped up this meal. Started with an assortment of mushrooms (lobster, oyster, and shiitake – very appropriate for Boston!) …
…sauteed with a smidge of garlic and a squeeze of lemon. Creamy, buttery polenta finished with fresh cracked pepper and parmesan. Topped with a perfectly poached egg (the first one I’ve ever made!) Simple and soul satisfying. It is an infinite comfort to be able to let everything else fall away, if just for a moment, and immerse yourself in the act of putting together and eating a meal.
1 egg (organic, pasture-raised is best)
1 cup assorted mushrooms (lobster, oyster, shiitake) – cleaned, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. yellow corn meal
organic chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
butter, olive oil
salt & pepper, parmesan
For the polenta: Simmer about 2 cups chicken broth and add cornmeal. Stir frequently until the cornmeal absorbs all the liquid and the polenta thickens. Add shaved parmesan (more or less to taste) and a pat of butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Make the mushrooms: Heat a fry pan with a scant tablespoon of olive oil with a pat of butter. Add chopped mushrooms and garlic, saute until browned and aromatic. Squeeze the juice from the half lemon over the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Add about a quarter cup of chicken broth, and simmer mixture until liquid is mostly evaporated.
Poach the egg: Bring salted water to a boil on high heat in a shallow and wide pan. Using a wooden spoon, swirl the boiling water and add the egg. Turn the heat to medium/low and cook for 3-4 minutes until the whites are opaque.
This was my first time ever poaching an egg – it’s so intriguing to watch the egg swirl and dance around in the water like a small ghost, only to emerge minutes later as a soft oval of delicious eggy-ness.
Put it all together: Ladle the polenta onto your dish, top with mushrooms and egg. Finish with cracked pepper and a fresh grating of parmesan. Sit. Eat. Enjoy.