Monday, May 16, 2011

Meatless Monday: Epic Mushroom & Polenta Failure

Sherried Mushrooms on Polenta Rounds
The weatherman on our Iocal news station has a "word for the day" segment that the husband and I catch just about every morning - it usually comes on just about the time I'm doing my hair and the husband is telling the dogs to stop wrestling so he can hear the weather. In the past few months the meteorologist has told us our days would be "cold," "fantastic," "insolent," "serendipitous" and even "vexatious." (The poor guy. I think he's starting to have a hard time coming up with words. But c'mon. Who really thought coming up with a word to describe the weather every day would be a good idea?)

I haven't asked the husband what word he'd use to describe dinner, but I know if Little Big Brother were here he'd offer up two: epic fail. (Yes, that's right. My little brother is so cool he'd leave off the "ure.")

But I'm getting ahead of myself here, so let me back up and tell you how dinner started.

You know I get free cookbooks in the mail every once in awhile, and I really look forward to making recipes out of them and offering up reviews. Someone took the time to ship me a book; I feel it's only necessary I take the time to give them something back in return. So I turned to a cookbook that I received a couple of months ago to make tonight's dinner: Sherried Mushrooms on Crisply Polenta Rounds.

The husband wasn't too excited when I told him what I was making, but he didn't seem to mind much either, so I didn't change the menu. I sauteed the mushrooms and onions, added what I thought seemed like a lot of rosemary (1 1/2 teaspoons for two servings), threw in a little garlic and poured in some Sherry. While the mushrooms cooked, I pan-fried the polenta rounds.

The mushrooms were easy enough to cook, taking about 15 minutes in all, from the time I started chopping them to the time they were done sauteeing. But I wasn't happy with the polenta. I didn't think the rounds cooked as nicely in the fry pan as I thought they should have, so I moved them to the oven for a few minutes, hoping they'd get "crispy." Unfortunately, they never did. Luckily the husband and I like polenta, so this part didn't bother us much. But the mushrooms just weren't that fantastic. I like rosemary, don't get me wrong, but it was a little overwhelming. And I felt like I had those little twigs stuck in just about every one of my teeth. Doesn't that sound yummy?

As we ate dinner, our conversation went something like this:

The wife: You've liked just about everything I've made out of that Cooking Light cookbook I got for my birthday.
The husband: And this meal came from that other cookbook you got in the mail?
The wife: Yes
The husband: Then I'd never make anything out of that cookbook again.

I hear ya, husband. This one was not a "keeper." Actually, the husband just got off the phone, so I asked him: How would he describe tonight's dinner? Blah.


  1. Ouch. I hate it when that happens. I'm not a fan of polenta, which is sad because it is Italian and I love all things Italian...except that.

    Rosemary...yeah, in really small doses. That wasn't a really small dose. What were they thinking?

  2. You sounds like me. I will always give a recipe the benefit of the doubt. I will make it exactly the way it says so I can give it my honest opinion. It drives me nuts when folks take a recipe, change it all around and then say it tastes So I try it the written way first, then the second time I make it - I make changes. This one really did not sound like there would be a 2nd time Love your honesty (and your hubby's). Epic Fail - I hear that from my younger co-workers everyday. They got me saying it now!

  3. You *sound* like me - not sounds like. Lord have mercy on my bad typing skills.

  4. @Mom Chef - My thoughts exactly on the rosemary! I'm glad to hear someone who is actually a very experienced cook agrees with me. :)

    @Bran - You sounds like you have the right idea, ha. Trying a recipe exactly as it's written is such a great idea. You're a smart cookie. I have a bad habit of changing things up a bit - even on the first try - but I didn't do that at all last night. If I'd have taken my own spin on the mushrooms I'd take full credit for last night's "fail." But, no.


Thanks for taking the time out of your day to show my space a little love.


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