Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vegan Polenta with Porcini Mushroom



Venturing down a new avenue: polenta! It is a nice alternative for a vegan plate, adding a slight luxurious quality. What better than that for a Valentine's weekend? It can either be creamy  and served immediately after preparation, or it can be cooked, cooled and then cut into serving sizes. Regularly, it is only cooked with water and salt, but to make it richer one can add milk and butter. In a vegan variety, I added almond milk and a bit of earth balance, as well as the juice of a 1/2 Meyer lemon. Served on a bed of sauteed dried porcini and fresh portabella button mushrooms. Delightfult!

Polenta: (makes 4 servings)
1 3/4 cups of polenta
1.5 cups water
1.5 cups almond milk
1TB earth balance (vegan butter replacement)
some salt
juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon juice

Sauteed porcini and portabella mushroom (1 serving):
1 cup portabella button mushroom, cleaned and quartered
1/2 white onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ts olive oil
0.5 oz porcini mushroom, reconstituted in hot water
1/2 TB veganaise
1 TB BBQ sauce
thyme, for garnish
Polenta: Bring to a water and almond milk to a boil, and whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes (or less). Turn off the heat. Add the earth balance, and stir until melted and the lemon juice. The lemon juice really made a difference--it makes the polenta seem brighter somehow, but not lemony. 

Pour the polenta into a heat-proof glass dish, spread out and cool. Once cooled, you can cut off slices.


Sauteed Mushrooms: in a skillet, heat the oilve oil and sauteed the onion and garlic, and once translucent (3min) add the fresh mushroom. Sautee for about 5-8min, til softened. Add the reconstituted porcinis with some of the liquid. Stir, and let simmer on medium-low for about 10min. Add more liquid when the sauce become too dry. Once done, turn off the heat and stir in the veganaise and the bbq sauce. It makes it creamy and gives it a full, deep flavor. Serve with polenta.

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