Who’s excited for the Beaufort Street Festival? Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
It’s on November 17. Write it down. This year, they’re doing something a little different. Don’t worry! It’s still full of food, fun things, fantastic music and fortheloveofallthatsholypleasekeepthepettingzoo. Can I request that? ALWAYS HAVE A PETTING ZOO.
But this year, there is also a cook book. Yes! The book will be a compilation of recipes, along with stories from the community.
“Recipes & Ramblings; A Food Journey from Beaufort Street and Beyond.”
I’ve been lucky enough to help out with recipe testing, feedback and last weekend, I cooked for the actual book. Yes, I cooked things (not my recipes) and they will be in the book. It was pretty fantastic, I can tell you that.
Of course, after a 9 hour day of cooking, I came home pretty damn knackered. But still, a girl’s gotta eat. And what does a girl eat when she can barely keep her eyes open? Something with minimal risk of injury, fire or death.
Polenta is cruelly underrated. Creamy, easy and a great substitute for mashed potato – keep some in the pantry for a quick addition to meat or fish for dinner. I love this recipe for it’s ultimate comfort food status, plus it’s big on flavour, low on ingredients, effort and preparation. It’s all coming up Milhouse.
Mushroom Ragout with Polenta
From River Cottage Vege by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
2 tbsp olive oil
Large knob of butter
650g mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
Few sprigs of thyme, leaves only, chopped
150ml red wine
150ml vegetable or mushroom stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the polenta
1 bay leaf
Sprig of thyme
A few peppercorns
½ onion and/or 2 garlic cloves, bashed
150g quick-cook polenta
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
20g parmesan, finely grated with extra to serve
To make the polenta, add milk, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and onion and/or garlic with 400ml of water in a saucepan. Bring to a good simmer, then remove from heat and set aside to let the flavours come together, about 20 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and half your butter in a large pan. Season half the mushrooms with a good dose of salt and pepper, and then cook, stirring regularly until the juices have evaporated. Throw in half the garlic and thyme and cook for a further minute. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining butter/shrooms/garlic/thyme.
Throw all the shrooms into the pan, adding the wine and stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid reduces by half.
Scoop out the flavourings from the milk infusion, then bring to a simmer. Pour in the polenta, stirring until smooth. Cook for a minute, then remove from heat. Add the cheese, rosemary and butter, then season with salt and pepper. Go heavy on the salt (yes, you heard me right. Salt. Lots. Go.), it tastes amazing.
Serve the mushrooms on top of polenta, with lashings of extra cheese.