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 Post subject: trying to copy a polenta recipe!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:26 pm 
Huffs Nooch
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My omni son-in-law, who is a very unimaginative, unadventurous eater, had a polenta tapas dish last night at a restaurant and was raving about it. (He was so proud that he liked something as "weird" as polenta. If he only knew that before polenta was trendy, it was a poor man's dish!)
Anyway, he said it was crispy on the outside, creamy and delicious on the inside, and had a bit of sweet seared to it. He was almost positive it had cheese in it. Does anybody have an idea for a vegan approximation of this? I'd love to surprise him with it some time.


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 Post subject: Re: trying to copy a polenta recipe!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:56 pm 
Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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That's so nice that you want to surprise your SIL with polenta! :)

Traditionally polenta is made with butter, olive oil & perhaps some parmesan, so it's really easy to veganise by using vegan butter or margarine along with the olive oil, & some nutritional yeast for cheesy flavour - maybe with some lemon juice for some tang. You could even enrich it with cashew butter or something. Sometimes I put pureed roasted garlic & chopped herbs or olives in mine too. Then let it cool & set as normal, cut it into triangles or fingers & decide how you're going to get the outside crispy! Polenta can be deep-fried, pan-fried, or brushed with olive oil & chargrilled or baked in the oven. I like to chargrill mine. It's impossible to say what the sweet stuff on the outside was. Did it have any colour to it? Perhaps something like a mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar & a little sugar or agave syrup brushed all over the outside before grilling. Anything sugary does burn easily & can become bitter, so you have to be mindful of that. Perhaps it was drizzled in some kind of glaze after it was griilled? A citrus or tomato glaze would be really nice! Or caramelised onion or chilli relish - yum!

As for the inside being fluffy, I always find using a medium or coarse polenta (we call the actual cornmeal polenta here) gives a fluffier texture than fine (which can get lumpy or dense & rubbery) - but you do have to make sure you cook it long enough so it's not gritty & stir constantly so it doesn't catch on the bottom of the pot.

If I were you, I'd just google some recipes for grilled or broiled polenta, veganise it but follow the quantities, & make some kind of sweet glaze to brush it with before grilling.

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 Post subject: Re: trying to copy a polenta recipe!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:59 pm 
Huffs Nooch
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Thanks for the nice long answer! That definitely gives me some ideas. I hadn't thought of garlic, but that would be delicious!!


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