Tuesday, November 16, 2010

vegan mofo: homemade polenta

i have some italian heritage and feel that all italian foods should just come naturally to me.  not so easily, i learned.

status: somewhat fail.

why i'm including it:  i love the tubes of polenta you can buy, and thought there was no better was to use up some cornmeal than to cook up an authentic version.  unfortunately, i don't believe i ever saw my grandparents make homemade polenta (although i've heard stories).  a LOT of effort and time later, the results were just 'meh'.  (i added in some bell peppers to make it tastier)

would i make it again:  not sure. is buying it all that unauthentic?  i've seen one of the tubes in my grandma's fridge, after all.  :)


Allison, The Busy (Happy!) Vegan said...

I've made polenta a few times, too. You're right - it's SUPER-tricky. It's always tough to decide... with a little practice, you could probably make some dynamite polenta, but is it really worth the time when the store-bought stuff works so well?

Jessica said...

I probably like grits too much to really enjoy polenta. A homemade effort is good, but there's no problem sticking to the tubes. I once asked my grandma how to make pancakes, which she made from scratch, but she told me to use Bisquick.

Maybe it's worth a second try, though.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Allison, why mess with the best? Sometimes store bought is better (I learned this for real when I went through a make-my-own-almond-and-oat-milk phase).

jessy said...

oh no, sadface on the polenta semifail. :( i've always had luck in making it, which is funny to me because i'm irish and polish. ah ha ha! store bought can fo 'sho be yummy though - and why change a good thing. but if you ever want to give it a go here's what i do:
1. put 4 cups of water in a large pot & get it to a boil. (you can also use veggie broth if you like)
2. whisk in 1 cup of cornmeal and reduce the heat to low. keep on whisking and whisking and whisking and whisking.
3. cook on low for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
4. remove from heat and add in what you love the most. i usually put in a big dollop of earth balance, a few pinches of sea salt, and sauteed onions.
5. enjoy polenta yumminesses in a bowl! oh, or you can spread it out in a lightly greased pan and let it cool, transfer to your fridge to let it set up some more for a few hours - then cut into any shapes you want and saute or broil them.

also - i loved your comment, miss v.! cracked me up because dan says "it's the tits" every now and again and i've never heard anyone else use that phrase. i love it!

Rose said...

I recently bought one of those tubes, but haven't tried it yet. I have Italian background too, but honestly, I've never really liked it too much when I've made it myself either...I say stick with the tubes.

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

Bummer it didn't work. Were you not happy with the texture or the taste? I find you have to season the crap out of polenta..

thanks for trying the cheese spread recipe.. and pointing out the missing steps! I ate some today and wasn't as thrilled with it.. I definitely am going to tweak the recipe more.

Mihl said...

It's funny, I never used storebought polenta. Well, to be honest, you can't buy it here. I'd like to try the tubs one day.