Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chorizo Polenta Hash

Chorizo-Polenta Hash with Collards

Even though I'm not going to include the sausage recipe, Ima call this a recipe post since you could easily make this with storebought chorizo and polenta.  Just fry up the collards first with some garlic, then add in chopped vegan chorizo and polenta slices.  Bam.  You can also easily make polenta from scratch, as I describe below.

I finally got around to making some of the sausages in the Vegan Brunch cookbook.  Cuh ray zay... so this is why one buys vital wheat gluten in a box instead of washing one's flour (how it was done back in Appleton, WI, seriously).  This was really easy, and felt like nothing short of a miracle.  The texture, I think, is as much like melted cheese as it is like sausage (as it steams, it gets firmer)... but maybe I am not sure what I am talking about. 

Gluten is not the enemy!  (Well, for almost all of us).  It's one of the healthiest, simplest sources of protein around, and when isolated from the other parts of flour (starch and fiber), as here, it has nearly magical properties.

Anyway, I made the chorizo recipe.  I thought the lemon zest was particularly odd (it also had sage, oregano, smoked paprika, tomato paste...), but it ended up being a killer flavor, though perhaps a bit too dominant.  The sausage looks absolutely disgusting up until the end, but (as was the case with this ravioli filling), I suppose real sausage would be far grosser.

Finally, after steaming for almost an hour, these really resembled sausages!  I also made some fast polenta by combining 1/3 c cornmeal to 1 c boiling water (though I think a bit less water would have been better), along with 1 TB earth balance and some salt.  Left in a bowl in the fridge, this happened:

After this, there was nothing left to be done but fry up a sausage (the recipe made 4 large ones) with the polenta (chopped up), and stir in some leftover sauteed collards.  Unfortunately, the polenta sort of, er, melted, but it nevertheless mellowed out the incredibly spicy-salty-sour sausage, and the overall flavor was fantastic.  After I left the other polentas I had made uncovered in the fridge for a day, they were much drier and firmer.


I also recently remade my old standby of Marinated Broccoli Lentil Salad, adding garlic and olives this time.  It reminds me of a fantastical forest full of pebbles and jewels.  Or maybe a riverbed.

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