Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Recipe: Mushrooms Topped Polenta with Black Bean Ragout or how Vegas does Vegan

With more people eating vegan and vegetarian, more and more restaurants are not only carrying alternative meals, but gourmet vegan meals.
Vegan Chef Tal Ronnen created tons of gourmet vegan and vegetarian meals for The Wynn Resorts and properties in Las Vegas, one of the gourmet food capitals of the world.
This recipe has many names, but the briefest is... Vegan Entree
It's specifically known as "Sautéed Mushrooms topped Polenta with Black Bean Ragout" or if it were served in a Las Vegas Steakhouse, it would be listed on the menu as
"polenta-mushroom cake, black bean and butternut ragout, roasted red pepper"

The recipe is simple and all ingredients can be easily found at most grocery stores, but it is involved. Since this recipe was one that was inspired by Las Vegas, I thought I should go all out. This is how Vegas does vegan!
You can omit any ingredient or any part of the recipe, making Mushroom Topped Polenta on it's own would be delicious. Black Bean and Butternut Ragout is a meal in itself and Roasted Red Pepper Salad is a fantastic appetizer. And a warning, this recipe is garlic heavy. Deliciously garlicky, as we call it. 
There are a few parts to this entree: 
Polenta (make ahead for best results)
Roasted Red Pepper Salad (make ahead for best results)
Black Bean and Butternut Ragout (can be made ahead)
Sauteed Mushrooms (prepare fresh)
Make a batch of polenta a day before and place it in a rectangular container, so that you can form slices from it before serving. You can use your own recipe or follow along with my basic recipe here.
The Roasted Red Pepper Salad should be made ahead so the flavors can marry. You can place washed red peppers on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler until the peppers are charred all over. Then, remove them from the oven and place in a paper bag. Let steam/cool for 20 minutes. Take the peppers and peel off the charred skin.
OR purchase a jar of roasted peppers in the Italian food section of the grocery store. They come packed in oil or a water/brine solution. You can use either kind. Drain the jar and do a quick rinse under water. Pat peppers dry and slice into strips. Place in a shallow food safe container and layer with olive oil, chopped garlic and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, chop the pepper strips into cubes. Place in a small bowl and add some of the oil and vinegar from the container that held the peppers. Place in small bowls and sprinkle with a garnish of pine nuts.
Black Bean and Butternut Squash Ragout.
About 40-60 minutes before you would like to serve the entree, drain the can can of black beans and rinse thoroughly, until the water runs clear. Peel the butternut squash and then cut it in 3/4" cubes. Place in a bowl and drizzle 2 T olive oil over the squash. 
Season with salt and pepper and add 3 tsp of dried rosemary and toss to combine.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes.
The edges will be brown and golden and the squash cubes will be tender, but still hold their shape.
Just after you placed the baking sheet in the oven, start the rest of the ragout, but heating 3T olive oil in a sauté pan. Add chopped shallots and 2 tsp chopped garlic. It will be fragrant and delicious. Add chopped tomatoes and cook down until the tomatoes start to tenderize and begin to dissolve. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes and then add 1/2 cup vegan white wine and allow to reduce.
Add black bean and stir gently to combine.
When the butternut is cooked, add it to the black bean mixture.
When mixture is combined, drizzle on 4 T Balsamic vinegar and once it becomes fragrant, shut off the heat and set aside until ready to use.
Prepare the Mushrooms just 10-15 minutes before serving.
Clean and slice the mushrooms.
Heat a skillet with 2 T olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms and stir as it sizzles. The pan should be very hot and you should keep it hot throughout the cooking process.
When the mushrooms cook down, stir in 4 T chopped garlic and 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the garlic is fragrant.
POLENTA - Slice the and heat either in a warm oven or in a skillet.
Assemble the entree. Place the cups of Roasted Red Pepper Salsa on the serving dish. Place a generous spoonful or two of the Black Bean Ragout on the plate. Add a slice or two of the polenta and top with hot mushrooms. Garnish with additional parsley.
Serve immediately.
Sauteer Mushrooms with Black Bean & Butternut Ragout and Roasted Red Pepper Salad
RECIPES
Roasted Red Pepper Salad
2-3 roasted red peppers, charred and peeled, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 T olive oil
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
2 T pine nuts
salt and pepper
Place red pepper strips in a shallow container. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle smashed garlic on top and layer with a second layer of peppers and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, chop red pepper and drizzle with oil and vinegar from bowl. Place in a small serving dish and sprinkle with pine nuts.


Black Bean and Butternut Squash Ragout
1 15 oz can black beans
1 butternut squash (you can substitute sweet potatoes or other firm squash)
5T olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
5 tsp dried rosemary, divided
2 shallots
3 cloves garlic
2 plum tomatoes, chopped into small cubes
1/2 cup white wine (Vegan)
4 T Balsamic vinegar

About 40-60 minutes before you would like to serve the entree, drain the can can of black beans and rinse thoroughly, until the water runs clear. Peel the butternut squash and then cut it in 3/4" cubes. Place in a bowl and drizzle 2 T olive oil over the squash. 
Season with salt and pepper and add 3 tsp of dried rosemary and toss to combine.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes.
The edges will be brown and golden and the squash cubes will be tender, but still hold their shape.
Just after you placed the baking sheet in the oven, start the rest of the ragout, but heating 3T olive oil in a sauté pan. Add chopped shallots and 2 tsp chopped garlic. It will be fragrant and delicious. Add chopped tomatoes and cook down until the tomatoes start to tenderize and begin to dissolve. Add 2 tsp dried rosemary. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes and then add 1/2 cup vegan white wine and allow to reduce.
Add black beans and stir gently to combine.
When the butternut is cooked, add it to the black bean mixture.
When mixture is combined, drizzle on 4 T Balsamic vinegar and once it becomes fragrant, shut off the heat and set aside until ready to use.

Sautéed Mushrooms
Prepare the Mushrooms just 10-15 minutes before serving.

16-24 oz of any combination of mushrooms, Portobello, Shiitake, Oyster, Crimini, Button
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil

Clean and slice the mushrooms.
Heat a skillet with 2 T olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms. The pan should be very hot and you should keep it hot throughout the cooking process. Occasionally, stir mushrooms.
When the mushrooms cook down, stir in 4 T chopped garlic and 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the garlic is fragrant.

ASSEMBLY

Make sure all the components are hot. Bake, grill or sauté the polenta. Sautee the mushrooms and heat the ragout.
Place a generous serving of Roasted Red Pepper Salad in a small dish and set on the side of a large serving plate.
Place a bed of Black Bean and Butternut Ragout on the side of the plate. 
Top with a couple of slices of Polenta.
Spoon Sauteed Mushrooms on Top of Polenta.
Serve.

#MyVegasRecipe









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