Tuesday, June 7, 2011

(Super) Creamy vegan polenta

Melissa D’ Arabian was cheerfully chattering on as usual on foodtv (I think of her as a non-tired, blond mommy Rachel Ray) and got my attention when she divulged that she had perfected this polenta for over a year and had actually asked the chef of the restaurant she first had it for his polenta secret. I had started to make more polenta when I went vegan last fall and love it. So, a new secret on how to make insanely creamy polenta… that was something to follow up on. 

The trick to the super creamy polenta is twofold: 1) the ratio between liquid to cornmeal is 7:1 (so a lot more liquid than usual recipes ask for), and 2) cooking it much, much longer, like hours, than usual recipes say. Genius Melissa simply cooked it in the slow cooker because she had no time to babysit the polenta for 2 hours (who has?). Sounded all convincing enough for me to try it out, but I also wanted to veganize it. I replaced milk and half and half and butter with unsweetened, unflavored almond milk and some coconut milk, and the polenta was so creamy and perfect that it did not need any more vegan butter or sour cream.  You gotta try this!
creamy vegan polenta (makes about 2 servings):
  • 1/4 cup coarse corn meal
  • 1 1/2 cups unflavored unsweetened almond milk (like Silk, or Whole Foods brand)
  • 1/2 cup unflavored coconut milk (not the thick one from the can, but the drinking kind)
  • a bit of sea salt
  • a few grates of nutmeg
On a stove, heat the almond milk and coconut milk and whisk in the cornmeal. Whisk continuously until the milk is heated and the cornmeal slightly thickens. Turn off the heat, and transfer the polenta to a sprayed small slow cooker. Set to low, put the lid on and cook for 2h, stirring occasionally. Add the salt and nutmeg to taste, and serve.
Here, I serve it with stove-top grilled asparagus, mushrooms, red onions and fresh corn, and a drizzle of Stonewall Kitchen’s Vidalia Onion and Fig Sauce.
creamy vegan polenta

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