Friday, October 16, 2009
Scrambled Polenta (or, "Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery")
I know, right? It's genius! I was inspired to make this by Cupcake Kitteh's Vegan MoFo post from about a week ago. I love polenta, but don't make it very often, so I confess that the brilliant idea of using it in a scramble had never occurred to me. But it's so good! It's also dead simple, really fast--especially if you already have leftover cooked polenta--and makes a nice change from tofu. I put scallions, onions, mushrooms, red bell pepper and basil in our scramble because A. that's what was handy, and B. we like a lot of veggies, but go ahead and use whatever's available, and in less lavish quantities, if you wish. We also had some blue Sheese languishing in the fridge, which I figured couldn't possibly be a bad idea (it wasn't), so in it went. The result was creamy, delicious and a perfect late breakfast on a cool October morning; that said, I can see it making an appearance on the dinner table very soon, maybe with some pine nuts for a little extra excitement. (I should also mention that this makes a pretty huge amount, so you might want to halve it; then again, the leftovers were amazing!)
~6 cups vegetable broth (or water)
~1 3/4 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)
~1 tsp. each: kosher salt, sage, thyme
~In a large pot, bring the broth or water to a full boil.
~Add the polenta, salt, sage, and thyme, stirring constantly (I used a whisk to prevent lumps).
~Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking--and stirring!--for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is soft.
~Remove from heat, then set aside to cool and firm up for about an hour.
~2 tbsp. olive oil or vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
~1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
~3 cups sliced mushrooms
~3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
~1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
~1/2 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves
~A few grinds of fresh black pepper
~1/2-3/4 cup grated blue-flavor Sheese, or other vegan cheese, depending on how "cheesy" you like things (optional)
~In a large skillet, melt the margarine (or heat the oil), and saute the onions over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
~Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and continue cooking another few minutes.
~Add the scallions and black pepper and cook another minute or so, until the scallions are just wilted.
~Scoop in the cooled polenta, about a cup at a time, bashing it up and stirring to mix with the veggies.
~Keep the mixture moving so it doesn't stick to the pan; if it does, you can add a splash of water or broth to deglaze the pan and scrape up the bits.
~Add the fresh basil and the Sheese (if using), and stir to combine. After another minute or so remove from heat and serve hot. This was so good--and so filling--that we just ate it on its own, but you could easily make it the centerpiece of a more substantial meal with sauteed greens, roasted veggies or a nice green salad on the side