Bacon, Cheese & Thyme Polenta with Crispy Mushrooms

Cant’t trust a Monday, amirite? Sometimes it can be a beautiful start to a new and exciting week, sometimes the week just stretches before you like gum that’s gone grey and leathery because you’ve chewed it too long…

Whether you need fuel for the rocket start to your week or comfort food to help you through it, there’s nothing like a bowl of Bacon, Cheese & Thyme Polenta with Crispy Mushrooms. You’re welcome!


xoxo Donata



Ingredients

Serves 4


4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste

1 cup (160 g) polenta

1 1/2 cups (150 g) grated Parmesan cheese

8 slices bacon

2 tablespoons thyme leaves, removed from the stalk

9 oz (250 g) baby bella mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and cut into thick slices

Extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

In a large saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil on medium high heat.

Pour the polenta into the boiling water, stirring with a whisk as you go. Stir in one direction to avoid clumps. Continue whisking until the polenta has thickened somewhat. Turn down the heat to low. Sprinkle in the parmesan and the thyme and stir until incorporated. Cover with lid and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure the polenta is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Fry the bacon in a a large skillet until crispy. Place the bacon on paper towels to drain the fat. When the bacon has cooled off, crumble into bits and add to the polenta, reserving about a quarter cup as garnish.

Heat oil in a second large skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Arrange the mushrooms in a single layer and cook until the bottom side is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Resist the urge to move the mushrooms around, we want them crispy!

Season with salt and pepper. Use a pair of tongs to turn the mushrooms around. Continue to cook until golden brown all over, reducing the heat as needed, about 3 minutes more. Remove from pan and set aside until needed.

When the polenta is done, place into a big bowl. Arrange the mushrooms around the polenta and top with the remaining bacon. Garnish with a sprinkling of thyme leaves and serve immediately.



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