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Polenta with Mushroom Ragout

['2 cups water', '1/2 cup yellow cornmeal', '1/4 teaspoon salt', '1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper', '1 tablespoon unsalted butter', '1 tablespoon peanut oil', '1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)', '5 ounces mushrooms (cultivated, wild, or a combination), trimmed, cleaned, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)', '3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped (2 teaspoons)', '4 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 1/4 cups)', '2 small ears corn, husked and kernels cut off (1 cup)', '1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or low-salt canned chicken broth', '1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste', '1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper', '2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives']

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle the cornmeal on top while mixing it in with a whisk, and stir in the salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid to prevent splattering, and cook gently for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is cooked and has the consistency of a creamy puree. Set aside, covered.
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. When they are hot, add the onion and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat for about 2 minutes, until the liquid emerges from them and evaporates. Add the garlic, tomatoes, corn, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a strong boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve, ladle the polenta into the center of four soup plates and pour the mushroom ragout on top of and around it. Sprinkle with the chives and serve.

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