Monday, October 22, 2012


1/2 cup chopped bacon (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and saute the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towel. Pour out bacon drippings, leaving just 2 tablespoons dripping in the skillet.

Add shallots and saute until just starting to turn brown, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, raise heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and slowly whisk in polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.

While the polenta is cooking, heat olive oil in another large skillet set over medium heat. Add crimini mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are tender and just starting to brown. Stir in fresh thyme. Remove from heat. Season with freshly ground black pepper and lightly with salt (remember, there will be salt in the polenta from the bacon and the chicken broth).

Just before serving, stir the reserved bacon and Parmesan cheese into the polenta. Divide the mixture across 6 plates (I typically serve this as a side) and top the polenta servings with even amounts of the mushroom mixture. Serve immediately.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Dara Michalski, Cookin' Canuck, September 1, 2010

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