Friday, April 28, 2006

Mushroom Polenta Gratin

This idea and recipe (although I made substitutions in many places) came from the Vegan Feast Newsletter Jan/ Feb/ Mar 2006... BRYANNA'S POLENTA GRATIN WITH MUSHROOMS AND "GRUYERE". I didn't have sundried tomatoes or fresh basil, so subbed tomato paste, dried basil and roasted red pepper (for color) in areas and we liked it well enough. I added this to my 2x2 table basket and definitely plan to make this again when have fresh basil and tomatoes that I can oven dry.

The first thing I did was roast the red pepper in my oven. Then when it was charred I wrapped the foil around it loosely so that when I needed it the skin would come off easily when I was ready to slice it. Then I blended the silken tofu, tomato and basil mixture to have ready for use. I also had 1/3 C Bryanna's gruyere cheese in the freezer ready to shred and sliced mushrooms ready to use.

Next I made the polenta using 2 1/2 C strong flavored vegetable broth and 3/4 cup Beb's Red Mill corn grits. I have tried to use an organic corn meal (Hodskin Mill, I think) before for a polenta recipe, but it didn't set up like I knew polenta should. I think that it was a finer mill than required for polenta. The corn grits set up perfectly. I cooked them in the microwave, Bryanna offers an easy cooking method for this. The last time I tried to make polenta in a pan I burned it on the bottem of the pan. I spread 1/2 of the polenta while it was still warm into an 8x8 lightly oiled pan, spread 1/2 the tomatoey basil spread, topped with 1/2 the slices of mushrooms and red peppers.

Next I spread the remaining polenta. It was still warm and freshly made enough to do this. In the picture I wanted to show it spreading, it did and covered all the sauce, mushrooms, and red peppers. I topped polenta layer two with the reamaining sauce and veggies. At last, I took a small block of Bryanna's Gruyere Cheese out of the freezer and shred it to my double layered casserole, it spread so well and gets melty and actually browns as you can see in the finished product below.
We enjoyed this casserole.

This is an example of a grain rotation dish. On a "corn" day, that is the only grain eaten for all meals. Corn could be corn based commercial cereal, cornstarch in a Chinese veggie sauce, corn chips, etc... there would be no other grain that could be eaten on this day... it's not hard to accomplish this. We could have another corn day in four days since it was a low level allergen for him. Dealing with so many allergies (which is a sign of an over reactive and improper functioning immune system), we eliminated all allergens for three months after the test results came back so that we could rid the system of irritants as best we could (this was the hardest part!!). Then we started a rotational diet because our goal is to re-train his faulty immune system, a few foods which were immediate reaction/high level allergens (anaphlatic type reaction) may never be tolerable. We did work with a doctor throughout this process and still do, we have actually seen this immune system begin to recover (confirmed by blood chemical tests) . He is not "recovered", but it has been and still is an interesting journey. I 'll talk more about rotational diets this in later blogs since I want the main feature of this post to be the magnificient gratin.

1 comment:

Jane M said...

Followed you following me!

I love the combination of mushrooms and polenta! It is one of my favorites. Never thought of making a gratin with them though.

I'm looking forward to your posting more on the rotation diet. I have some food sensitivities and always looking for ways of dealing with them.