Awaken your taste buds with a whole new approach to slow cooking. Brigit Binns brings you more than 100 classic slow-cooked recipes are updated for today’s cook, and are bursting with fresh, bright flavors and crunchy textures. From succulent beef to melt-in-your-mouth chicken to hearty legumes, The New Slow Cooker: Comfort Classics Reinvented (Weldon Owen, 2013) contains an irresistible array of recipes your family will love. The following recipe for creamy herbed polenta is excerpted from “Legumes & Grains.”
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The New Slow Cooker.
A topping of garlicky, earthy mushrooms adds both texture and sharp flavor to creamy, soft polenta laced with sweet corn kernels. Because polenta cooks unattended in a slow cooker—there's no need for the typical constant stirring—you can serve it alongside a main course that requires last-minute attention, such as grilled or pan-fried veal or lamb chops.
Slow Cooker Creamy Herbed Polenta Recipe with Mushrooms
• 4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l) chicken stock, homemade or purchased
• 1 cup (7 oz/220 g) stone-ground polenta
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 large shallot, finely chopped
• 3⁄4 lb (375 g) cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and quartered
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 teaspoons each minced fresh oregano and minced fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
• 1⁄2 cup (2 oz/60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup (6 oz/185 g) fresh or thawed, frozen corn kernels
1. In a slow cooker, stir together the stock, polenta, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Cover and cook on the low setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring two or three times if possible. The liquid should be absorbed and the polenta should be thick and soft and no longer gritty.
2. About 10 minutes before the polenta is ready, in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the shallot and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender and their liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and parsley, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute more.
3. About 5 minutes before the polenta is ready, stir in the 2 teaspoons each oregano and thyme, Parmesan, and corn kernels, then re-cover.
4. Spoon the polenta into warm shallow bowls or a serving bowl and top with the mushroom mixture. Garnish the polenta and mushrooms with more oregano and thyme and serve at once.
More Recipes from The New Slow Cooker
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from The New Slow Cooker by Brigit Binns and published by Weldon Owen, 2013. Purchase this book from our store: The New Slow Cooker.