Although it's taken me over a month to get around to posting this recipe, my blogging laziness shouldn't be a testament to this one's worth. It's worth every minute it takes to make, every egg needed to yield poached perfection, and every drizzle of truffle oil required to send your senses sailing.
I found a polenta and mushroom ragu recipe on Pinterest (my favorite way to widdle away my spare time) that peaked my cooking inspiration and decided to give it a whirl for Dan and I on a snowy Friday night. The result was good but something was definitely missing from the polenta. Knowing deep down in my heart that there was a winner tucked away in the savory mushroom ragu and glistening poached egg in this recipe, I decided to give it another whirl with a personalized twist. I added parmesan and truffle oil to the polenta and topped the dish with arugula to brighten its appearance. The additions to the polenta took the dish from good to post-worthy delicious.
Hoping the dish was also share-worthy, we invited our friends Allen and Sara over for a wintry Sunday night dinner. In addition to bruschetta, flatbread pizzas, and my new favorite polenta dish, Kourtney and Kim Take New York may have also worked its way into our evening agenda. I'll let you be the judge of that one though.
After a few courses and some good laughs, it was time to get poaching, ragu-ing, and truffling. Apprehensively eating my dish as I awaited feedback from our guests, I let out a sigh of happiness when Allen said something along the lines of "This fork isn't fully allowing me to access what is left in my bowl." Peering into his bowl, I saw only faint trails of polenta where his fork had scraped across in hopes of doing a spoon's job. It's always a good sign when your guests are scraping their bowls clean.
Truffled Parmesan Polenta w/ Mushroom Ragu and a Poached Egg (Serves 6-8)
◊ 2 18-ounce cooked polenta rolls
◊ 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
◊ 8 oz grated parmesan
◊ 2 tbsp white truffle oil
◊ sea salt
For Mushroom Ragu:
◊ 45 oz mushrooms (incorporate a variety of mushrooms), sliced
◊ 3 shallots, chopped
◊ 5 garlic cloves, minced
◊ 3 tbsp olive oil
◊ 3 sprigs rosemary, chopped
◊ 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
◊ sea salt
For Poached Eggs:
◊ 1 egg per person
◊ 1 tsp white vinegar
◊ white truffle oil
◊ shaved parmesan
1. In a food processor, pulse the polenta and vegetable broth together until a smooth puree forms. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the polenta mixture and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the grated parmesan and stir until incorporated and melted. Add in the white truffle oil and cook another 3-5 minutes. Season, to taste, with sea salt.
2. Heat the olive oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the mushrooms, fresh herbs, and a dash of sea salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until a thick ragu has developed.
3. To poach the eggs, heat 6 cups of water and white vinegar in a large pan over high heat. One at a time, crack the eggs and place them into individual ramekins. When the water has reached a rapid boil, reduce the hit to a simmer and drop one egg into the pan. Cook for 2 minutes and 45 seconds or until the whites have set and the yolk remains runny. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat process for each egg.
4. Assemble the dish by spooning about ¾ of polenta into a large bowl. Spoon ½ of mushroom ragu over polenta. Topp with poached egg, a drizzle of white truffle oil, a small handful of arugula, and a few shavings of parmesan. Serve immediately and enjoy!
* The polenta and mushroom ragu can be made up to one day ahead of time and reheated.