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Polenta , need help and suggestions please.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a practical coming up for school, and i am a little confused on what to do.

I have to Cook a Vegetarian dish in 2 ours that serves 6. I would like this to be a complete entree, with a main point, plenty of protein, maybe a hand salad or a salsa but not just a slab of lasagna or a circle cut fritter, i need this to be a action packed plate, with different components.

My ingredient of course is polenta, I have will have to make this from scratch, so cooking it and then cooling it down and then grilling or frying will most likely not work. I only have 2 hours and must serve 6. If you have recipies or suggestions please respond.

Thank you for any help you can bring my way.

GWash
post #2 of 17
How about a oven roasted veggie rattatouille over the polenta.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #3 of 17
I was thinking along those lines, too. Although I thought, everybody does the veg over the polenta -- how about keeping the veg fairly firm and not too wet, and serving the polenta on top of the veg? When you cook polenta with, say, cream and stir in mascarpone and some really flavorful grated cheese, it has a fabulous soft mouthfeel and BIG flavor. And if you serve it in individual bakers, you can run it under the salamander to brown the top, which adds yet another texture and flavor.

GWash -- do let us know what you come up with, and how it goes! :D
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #4 of 17
the only polenta dish i know is the ol' eggplant parmesan stacked on a fried polenta disk. However there should be several soft and creamy polenta recipes out there that I think would be more exciting. My old Chef had a stack of soft polenta dishes that he loved. sadly i didn't have a chance to learn them.
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #5 of 17
he said vegetarian, use stock instead of cream and finish with herbs and a flavored salt if it's avaliable.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #6 of 17

menofatoli

I will give you an old family recipe that is very unusual.
make a minestrone with
soffritto of garlic and onion - to which you can add celery, carrot, shallots, but not peppers (this would be very much out of character for this tuscan dish)
Add mainly tuscan black cabbage (these are long dark green leaves, not in a head, and don;t look at all like cabbage - if you can't find these - i don;t know what's available in the states where you are - you can use savoy cabbage) or cabbage and swiss chard, cut in squares. Also can add other veg such as string beans, zucchine. Add red beans (not sure what they're called, they look like borlotti but are darker - reddish).
Cook till the beans are done, then ADD THE POLENTA TO THE SOUP and cook it till it's done. You need to add enough to make a consistency when cooked that pours into a slightly raised mound.
Pour out onto a board (wood) - the traditional family way would be to pour onto a board and slice at the table.
You could use individual boards, or also pour into a dish that it will be served in.
If you pour into a dish then it can be slightly more watery.
You serve traditionally with a drizzle of olive oil on top and some parmigiano
Maybe, for a nicer presentation you can experiment with fried sage and garlic, or even sage and garlic butter, or you can try experimenting with other stuff. Maybe shaved parmigiano would dress it up a little
But this dish is really a rustic dish and shouldn;t be made too "pretty"
It's called Menofatoli
Probably just local to my mother's home town
Just for the record, i never liked it, but that's just because beans and cabbage are not my thing.
You'll have to experiment with quantities if you want to make it, it's the typical "by eye" dish, where poor people threw in what they had on hand.
It's a full meal with very rich protein made of the polenta, the beans and the parmigiano all put together.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #7 of 17

Polenta for Vegetarians

I guess the real question is whether you get to use dairy and eggs?

If so, then cheese polenta with a mushroom vin blanc and a nice herb salad on top. Maybe even a vegetarian take on shrimp and grits with nuts replacing the shrimp. I like this with a poached egg on top.

If you can't use dairy or eggs, cook the polenta with a nice mix of sweated garlic, shallot, and julienned leak. Sautéed mushrooms, roasted nuts, and roasted beets. Top with arugula.

Don't discount creamy polenta; it's wonderful.
post #8 of 17
Would that be kale?
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #9 of 17
I like it grilled or fried, can't stand it creamy. Know your audience if possible.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 17
If you're doing creamy polenta (which I like if made well and seasoned properly), then how about doing a riff on vegetarian osso bucco?
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #11 of 17
No, though some call it Tuscan Kale. It tastes milder. It's got stalks like swiss chard, though the central part is smaller. The leaves are the color of broccoli leaves.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #12 of 17
I think it's cavallo nero. A bit like what we in the UK call 'spring greens', although ours aren't quite as darkly greenish/black as the Italian varieties.
post #13 of 17
Yes, cavolo nero (cavallo is horse, cavolo is cabbage - like hair and horse in french i guess - don't ask me how to spell those :) !) - tastes different from your "greens" though. If in doubt, use savoy cabbage (the curly-headed cabbage) and swiss chard.
You can find many recipes for tuscan bean soup - this is like that, but you add polenta to the soup and leave out the pasta or bread or rice. Keep in mind that these dishes were made with what was handy.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
:talk:

Wow,
I did not expect to get this much responce. Lots of good info and ideas!

Ok from reading your responces and talking with the chefs at school here is what i am thinking...... please respond with what you think. Going to try for vegan as that will get me a couple extra points.



Polenta cooked 5 maybe 6 parts water to 1 part polenta, with 1 husk corn.
Pack Polenta and Corn into a metal circle thing, and put it in fridge till it forms up.
Sautee to golden brown on both sides after it forms up.

Sautee Oyster Mushrooms and place 1 bunch of them on the top of the polenta off center , towards back right side.

Dried Fava Beans ( no fresh to use ) Soaked , peeled once , cooked till tender.
Beans are placed on the center of the polenta circle.

Small Micro Salsa on top of the Fava Beans, made of Green Onion, Mushroom, Red Pepper, Fresh Tomato, Lemon Juice, Parsley, Chives.


5 Sticks of Asparagus trimed. Blanched and shocked. then quickly sauteed with chives, salt, pepper, Soy Oil to finish.
Asparagus is placed on the left side of the polenta at a 15º angle.

Red Pepper Cooli. Roasted Red Pepper, Garlic, Soy Oil, Vinegar, Parsley, Chives, Veg Stock.

Still havent figured out where im going to put the sauce. I was thinking of using a pastry brush and making 1 wide street at a angle in front left of Polent on the plate, and then keep asparagus on the back left of plate. Or maybe pooling the sauce under the polenta, or napping it on the polenta with a few drizzles on the asparagus. Or i could just do a half moon drizzle on the front of the plate, and place a little Cooli under the Fava Beans with a few drizzles on the asparagus. Like i said not sure what im doing with this dish lol!

I know my chefs like odd numbers. they like there to be some height to the plate, tv dinner style is fine if it works. but they really like some height and not so spread out. so yeah i know im prolly confusing , but if you were here i could show you what i mean lol!!!

Thanks again everyone,

GWash
post #15 of 17
GWASH I have one rule that I have learned to live by over the past 3-5 years and thats K.I.S. Simple, clean and elegant. Fresh is always best and you dont have to use too many ingredients to hide others that may not be as good. Keep It Simple. Good luck and remember a clean plate is a happy plate......
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #16 of 17

`o`

:bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce:
post #17 of 17
Make a traditional polenta using only salted water. Don't get fancy with the veg. stock and so forth. Saute some portabellos in marsalla and veg stock. Juice the kernels of a white sweet corn and reduce by half. Present the portabellos on top of the polenta, drizzle the plate with the corn milk reduction and top with seasonal greens.

I would typically use scallops instead of mushrooms, but since vegitarian, use the shrooms. Shitake would be nice too. If you can get truffles, well that goes without saying.
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