Makes about ~60 small bites
6 cups water
1.5 cups of instant polenta
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Marsala wine or sherry
12 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced into small cubes, stems removed
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil. Season heavily with salt.
- Add olive oil to the boiling, salted water.
- Add polenta to water, whisking furiously until it thickens, 2-3 minutes.
- Once the polenta has thickened up a bit (it should be a loose porridge consistency) pour it out on a baking sheet lined with If You Care Parchment paper. It should be approximately 1-inch thick.
- Smooth the top of the polenta so it’s even all the way around the baking sheet.
- Cool on the counter or in the fridge for an hour, or until it sets.
- While the polenta cools, prepare your mushrooms.
- In a large sauté pan, melt butter.
- Add mushrooms and cook on a medium high heat, stirring often, for 15 minutes.
- When the mushrooms have browned nicely, deglaze the pan with Marsala or sherry.
- Season generously with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Add the thyme leaves to the mushrooms, discarding the stems.
- Stir one final time and remove from the heat.
- Use a small circular cap, cookie cutter, ravioli cutter or glass to cut out your polenta bites. We used a flute glass turned upside down! You could also cut the polenta into squares using a knife if you preferred that shape.
- Top each polenta bite with a teaspoon of the mushroom mixture.