have you guys seen the season premiere of game of thrones?

we’ve been gearing up for it for a couple of months now, which i realize sounds kind of crazy. we got into the series last year right before season 2 came out. after watching the first season, i read all the books (all 5 of them, each over 1000 pages).

mushroom and caramelized onion polenta | things i made today

i even went as far as taking the last one, which was hardcover and weighed at least 5 pounds, to thailand with me. i lugged it around in my backpack from city to city for two and a half weeks before finishing it. i left it on a bus somewhere near mae sot (on the border with burma) for a nice thai gentleman to pick up and enjoy. i bet he’s been trying to thank me ever since. when we got back from thailand, season 2 had just come out. we were so jet lagged for the first couple days that we binge watched the whole season around 2 in the morning. since the books were so fresh in our minds we were annoyed at ourselves because we had to point out every change they made in the show. it was kind of frustrating, even though i still really enjoyed it.

mushroom and caramelized onion polenta | things i made today

then, unfortunately, we had to wait almost a year for season 3 to come out. and after watching it, i have to say, i’m slightly underwhelmed. there was so much set up for things to come, i don’t actually feel like anything happened. that’s okay though, i know i’ll be equally excited to watch it next week. so what does game or thrones have to do with mushroom and caramelized onion polenta? absolutely nothing.

mushroom and caramelized onion polenta | things i made today

i just felt like letting you know how i felt about the premiere. feel free to disagree. what you won’t disagree with is this recipe. i’ve had polenta many-a-times before, but i’ve never actually made it from scratch. anytime i’ve bought it i’ve gotten the trader joe’s pre-cooked version, which you heat up (and i usually dilute with a little milk or cream). it’s very good, but i wanted to start from scratch. after doing about 30 seconds of research, i learned that polenta is simply coarsely ground cornmeal.

mushroom and caramelized onion polenta | things i made today

polenta refers to how it is cooked, not the raw ingredient. you can buy cornmeal in the bulk section of most grocery stores, and it’s also way cheaper this way. the mushroom and caramelized onions would also go very nicely on pasta, but as we are in the midst of gluten-free week, polenta was the perfect pairing.

mushroom and caramelized onion polenta | things i made today

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Polenta
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups crimini mushrooms, halved or quartered if very large
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium sized saucepan, bring chicken stock to a slow simmer over medium heat. Add in cornmeal and stir to break up any clumps. Add in milk, ½ cup at a time, until liquid is reduced and polenta becomes creamy, about 30 minutes. Stir constantly.
  2. Add in salt, half the minced garlic, and Parmesan. Taste and add more salt or cheese if desired.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pan. Add onions, remaining garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Add in mushrooms and stir until they start to release juices. Add balsamic vinegar, honey, and thyme. Cook until onions are caramelized and mushrooms are soft.
  4. Serve mushroom and onions over polenta with a touch of parmesan, if desired.

recipe adapted from love and lemons. recipe rephotographed March 2015.


  • 04 / 02 / 13 / 10:48 pm

    For next Sunday, you may want to check out this: http://www.innatthecrossroads.com/

    writes JennyReply
    • 04 / 03 / 13 / 8:18 pm

      wow – they really took it to the next level. i like it, but i’m also a little scared of it.

      writes VickyReply
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