2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 ounces cornmeal, preferably coarse ground (about 2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons freshly grated grana padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives, optional
In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the cream and milk and heat over medium-high heat just until small bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Add the salt, and whisk the cream and milk until quite frothy.
Add the polenta and continue to whisk the mixture as it comes to a boil. Continue whisking for an additional 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan, and cook the polenta, stirring every 5 minutes or so (switch to a wooden spoon), until the cornmeal is completely cooked and quite tender, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. It may seem very thin initially, but it will gradually thicken. As the polenta cooks, a skin will form on the bottom and sides of pan (if you are not using a nonstick pan), which is proper and which gives the polenta a slightly toasty flavor.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
8 ounces mixed domestic and wild mushrooms, sliced or cut into naturally occurring pieces (about 2 cups)
Crushed red pepper
1/2 cup homemade chicken reduction, recipe follows, or purchased chicken reduction, diluted with water until a little thicker than chicken stock Use veggie stcok
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
1 teaspoon preserved truffles (optional)
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until the shallots just begin to color on their edges. Add the mushrooms and crushed red pepper to taste and cook until the liquid is released. Add the chicken reduction, bring to a boil, reduce to a bubbling simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. (You can prepare the mushrooms ahead up to this point; reheat them over medium-high heat just before serving.)
Just before serving, stir in the butter, grana padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano and chives if using. The polenta should pour from the spoon as you serve it and will thicken as it cools. If necessary, you can thin the polenta with a little milk just before serving. Divide the polenta among heated bowls or plates.
Just before serving, reheat the mushrooms if necessary. Toss the mushrooms with the chives and preserved truffles. Spoon some mushrooms and some of the cooking juices over each serving of polenta.