I know, I know. I have literally been absent for months. I would come up with an amazing excuse....but I think it is just winter wearing on me. I only have so many hours of good lighting to take pictures with, and if I am not feeling the cooking vibe...well I think you know what happens. But now Spring is just around the corner. It stays light until almot 7:00pm! Despite the fact that there is a snow storm looming on the horizon because I live in Antarctica.... I mean northern Canada.... it seems like I can almost taste summer coming. But since the first day of spring here.....is very different than the rest of the world I am doing a warm and cozy recipe with mushrooms and hot polenta. A little asparagus in this recipe is just the spring I need to hold me over, until real spring gets here
Red Kale, Asparagus, and Mushrooms with Romano Cheese Polenta
2-3 cups purple kale, torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms*
1 cup asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup hot water
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup corn meal
1 cup mushroom or chicken broth
1/2 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup shredded romano cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
If you don't have dried mushrooms (and mushroom broth) , just used your favorite fresh mushrooms and chicken broth. I used a combination of dried and fresh.
Place dried mushrooms in a bowl. Pour 1 cup of hot water, or enough to cover mushrooms in bowl. Set aside.
In a large pan heat olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes until softened. Drain mushrooms, and reserve liquid for polenta. Add mushrooms and kale, along with a splash of mushroom liquid, stir reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale has begun to soften. Add asparagus, cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium pot, bring mushroom liquid and broth to a boil. Whisk in cornmeal and milk and reduce to a simmer. Continue to whisk for 5-10 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese, until melted. Immeditely plate and top with the kale and mushrooms. Sprinkle with chopped chives and some extra cheese.