Looking for an easy, rich and crowd-pleasing dish to warm you up? Bridgette Bar chef Garrett Martin's mushroom polenta is perfect for dinner parties. Even if you're not celebrating anywhere with snow, the grated Parmesan will put you in the mood.
On medium-high heat, bring chicken stock and salt to a simmer. Do not reduce. Whisk cornmeal into chicken stock, do not stop whisking until all is incorporated. Reduce heat slightly and stir occasionally while the cornmeal cooks until thickened and not grainy. This process can take 2-20 minutes, depending on your cornmeal. When cooked, turn off heat.
Using a large frying pan, heat the butter and canola oil on high heat until the butter turns foamy. Add mushrooms gently and don’t move them too much. If the pan sounds dry and you don’t hear a sizzling at any point, add a touch of canola oil to help the mushrooms caramelize. Add the thyme and let mushrooms cook. Toss the mushrooms occasionally to let them colour and cook evenly.
Once soft and caramelized, season with salt and pepper. Add Madeira to the pan and let the alcohol burn off for a few seconds. Add chicken stock and then reduce, add more seasoning if necessary and finish with a touch of lemon juice. Keep warm while finishing the dish, adding a spoonful of water occasionally to keep the sauce smooth.
Begin rewarming the polenta. When the polenta is warm, fold in the butter, mascarpone and parmesan until everything is completely melted. Check seasoning and adjust as needed. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick pan, add a small amount of canola oil and heat lightly. Crack all four eggs into the pan and let cook sunny-side up, cooking them slowly to ensure the white is nicely set. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the finished polenta to four large bowls. Using a rubber spatula, cut the eggs in the pan to separate them from each other. Place one egg on top of the polenta in each bowl. Divide the mushrooms between the bowls, ensuring to get all the delicious glaze out of the pan, spreading the mushrooms all around the egg. Finish with some more grated parmesan and chopped chives.