Polenta with Mushrooms

Dinner last night was polenta and mushrooms, the recipe for which I found at Smitten Kitchen.  I don’t follow her version exactly – I usually make my polenta thicker, make a much higher proportion of mushrooms to polenta, mix in ricotta instead of heavy cream, skip the mascarpone and parsley (which I usually don’t have on hand), and sometimes add in toasted pine nuts for extra protein – but the basic idea is the same.

Last night I only had plain old crimini mushrooms.  It’s more interesting with a variety of exotic mushrooms, but tastes just fine with one kind, also.

I also prepared some asparagus for a side dish, and of course the polenta…

I tossed the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper in preparation for caramelizing it under the broiler…

and stuck it in the oven as soon as the mushrooms were looking closer to done – bubbling and steaming and browning nicely.

Some of us waited cheerfully and patiently:

Others of us waited grumpily on the floor, hoping for a mushroom or asparagus treat to fall from the sky.

…and that’s all I have.  We were hungry and eager to eat, and there was no stopping to take photos of the finished meal.

It’s OK – one of the main inspirations to photograph this dinner in progress was the daylight  savings jump.  The kitchen was flooded with a lot more light than I’m used to having at 6pm, and all the food looked so much better than normal.  (These days, whenever I see anything that would make a halfway attractive photo subject lighted by beautiful natural light, my first instinct is to grab my camera.  Even in the middle of cooking dinner.)  But by the time dinner was finished the sun was quite a bit lower in the sky, and nothing looked quite as nice as it had while it was cooking – so that’s that.

Pretty or not – It tasted good!

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2 thoughts on “Polenta with Mushrooms

  1. The food photographed great! And John looks far more happy than normal (at least in photos!). Must have smelled great in the making.

    • Thanks mom! I am realizing that the main difference between good photos and not-so-good ones is the lighting….

      I’m not sure if John was smiling wider in this photo because dinner was nearly done, or because he had a good day at work, or perhaps because I asked him to please look happier this time instead of giving me another “why are you taking my picture again?” look. (He is actually very patient and lets me take his picture a lot, but I’m sure it gets wearying after some time.)

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