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Wild Rice Polenta & Portobello Ragoût

by Chef Barry Saunders
Green Gates

Ragoût traditionally refers to a rich French stew of meat or vegetables. This one uses large crimini mushrooms which have a dense, meaty flavour.

1 L water
2 tsp salt
1 cup white cornmeal (you can substitute yellow or blue cornmeal)
1/2 cup cooked wild rice
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup grated parmesan

Portobello ragoût
1 Tbsp butter
2 shallots, finely diced
2 portobello mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup Cabernet
8 roasted garlic cloves
1 oz pine nuts
1 tsp fresh marjoram

Chile oil
1 cup peanut oil
1 Tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp chile flakes
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp garlic
Black peppercorns, to taste
Balsamic Syrup
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

4 oz spinach leaves, sautéed
4 slices roasted red pepper
6 oz chèvre

1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil with salt. Add cornmeal. On low heat stir constantly for 15-20 minutes. Add cooked wild rice, butter and parmesan.
2. Spread warm polenta mixture onto a sheet pan and cool. Cut in four using a 4-inch ring cutter.
3. To re-warm, bake in 350˚F oven for 10 minutes.

Portobello ragoût
1. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add shallots and portobello mushrooms and sauté.
3. Stir in Cabernet and cook until almost all the wine is absorbed into the mushrooms.
4. Add garlic, pine nuts, marjoram.

Chile oil
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients and steep for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
2. Strain mixture using a cheese cloth or coffee filter.

Balsamic syrup
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine ingredients and reduce by half.

To serve
1. Place one piece of polenta in centre of each plate. Stack sautéed spinach, roasted red peppers on top. Spoon ragoût over peppers. Top with crumbled chèvre. Drizzle stack with chile oil and balsamic syrup. Garnish with deep-fried julienned leek.

Yield  4 servings

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