This cheddar polenta is comfort food to the max. If you want to take a spoon directly to the skillet, I won’t judge.
Until last week, I didn’t own a skillet. I’d walk into the Le Creuset outlet nearby once or twice a year telling myself I was finally going to get one, then get to shelf, look at the price tag and back out. I’m a bit weird like that, I’ll make a decision to buy a stove that costs almost 30 times the amount of the skillet in seconds, but spending $150 on a pan…nope, years of procrastination when it comes to that.
So I’m walking down every aisle of the A&P last week (a grocery store I loathe but happens to be only minutes away) unsuccessfully trying to find chestnuts (they were in the potato chip aisle in case you were wondering…because that makes sense) and came across the usually pathetic area of pots, pans and casserole dishes every supermarket has. Except this time, there were SKILLETS! And there was a digit less on that price tag than the ones at Le Creuset. And honestly, I can’t imagine what Le Creuset can possibly do to their cast iron to make it cost 10 times more. This is just one of those times where I’m not falling for the brand name hoopla.
And just like that, I now own a skillet in which I plan to make all the savory comfort foods one can imagine that I’ve missed out on for these past skillet-less years.
So let’s start with cheddar polenta topped with sausage, cranberries and portabello mushrooms. If you can keep your spoon out of the skillet for seconds I’ll be thoroughly impressed. This was intended to be lunch and dinner when I made it but poor dinner, he never stood a chance.
- 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 2 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 2/3 cup polenta
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoons chopped sage
- 1/4 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup cranberries
- arugula for garnish
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the sausage to the skillet, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks.
- When the sausage is half way cooked, add the mushroom slices to the pan.
- Cook until the sausage is cooked through and the mushrooms have cooked/shrunk down in size by about half. Set aside.
- Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the butter to the skillet to melt.
- Add the polenta to the skillet once the butter is melted.
- Slowly stir in the broth and whisk until the polenta is thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Once thickened, stir in the sage and cheddar.
- Top with the sausage and mushroom mixture and scatter the cranberries on top.
- Transfer the skillet to the broiler for about 3-5 minutes until the cranberries start to "pop".
- Remove from the broiler and serve topped with some fresh arugula if desired.