Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Date Night: Portabello Mushrooms with Polenta

So if you read my monthly updates, you probably are well aware that we are complete slackers in the "find a babysitter" department.  But a couple of weeks ago, we found a way to enjoy a date night, even without having a babysitter!  And without having to pay for childcare, this also became one of the cheapest dates we will ever go on.

What is this magical date locale?  Why the local drive-in!

Thatboy had never been to a drive-in before, and I hadn't been since high school.  But there's no time like the present, right?  We did a quick and easy dinner at home, made some popcorn, bundled Thatbaby up in his pajamas, and headed out.

Thatbaby fell asleep before we even arrived at the theater.  And he stayed that way through both of the movies, and the way home, and until the next morning.

We paid $16 and got to see Oz the Great and Powerful and Jack the Giant Slayer.  We ate popcorn with parmesan and truffle salt.  We drank some wine during the first movie.  We enjoyed some time, just the two of us - even though there were 3 in the car.  It was some of the most fun we've had in a very long time and I can't wait to do it again!

The key ingredient in this is a meal that doesn't take too long to make so we can head out to the movies.  Like these mushrooms with polenta.  While the mushrooms roasted, I threw together the polenta, sauteed the greens, and popped the popcorn.  Which means, within half an hour after getting home, we were eating.

Even though this meal also is vegetarian and featured mushrooms, Thatboy told me it as delicious and I could make meals like this anytime I wanted.  Meaty portobellos are a crowd pleaser just about everywhere.

Portabello Mushrooms with Polenta
2 portobello mushrooms, cut into eighths
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, divided, minced
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3/4 cup polenta
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
1 bunch of spinach, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Place mushroom eighths on a baking sheet and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, 1 garlic clove and some salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 25 minutes.
  2. Bring the water, salt, and pepper to boil.  Whisk in polenta and lower heat to a simmer.  Cook until polenta thickens and pulls from the sides of the pan.
  3. Stir in the butter and cheese.
  4.  Heat the remaining oil in a skillet.  And the remaining garlic clove and saute just until fragrant.  Add the chard and spinach and saute for 5 minutes, until the chard is tender.  
  5. Stir the mushroom into the chard and spinach and cook until heated through.  Serve the mushroom/green mixture over the polenta.


  1. Aww sounds like a cute date night! I wish there were drive-in theaters here!

  2. I grew up going to the drive-in far back as I can remember. We do have one further north but I have not ben since I was a teenager.