Polenta cünsa

It seems like I’m CONSISTENTLY cooking recently, and most importantly I’m cooking things that humans can actually eat.
Tonight I was feeling a bit nostalgic and homesick, so I decided to experiment with a typical dish from where I’m from: Polenta cünsa.
Now, if you don’t now what polenta is, what are you even doing with your life. (Here, save yourself the shame.) As for the cünsa part, you’re forgiven if you don’t know what that means, considering not even Giac, who is from THE BIG CITY as opposed to humble countryside me, had never heard the term before. Cünsa – or simply cunsa, but I like my roughness – could be translated to “enriched”. Enriched by what is entirely up to you: cheese, butter, bacon, beef mince. HOWEVER, since over this corner of the web we don’t like preparing meals that include things that were once alive, of course we are going to veganise it.
I chose to try the recipe my momma normally makes, which originally involved beef mince and a mountain of cheese. Mine has tofu and no (vegan) cheese, because (vegan) cheese has become a bit of a luxury since I’m jobless. But hey, maybe you do have a job so you can have (vegan) cheese! Good for you, I say.

What you need

  • Polenta (Duh. I used the pre-made kind, but if you want to  light up the fireplace and simmer over a cauldron for five hours be my guest)
  • Extra firm tofu (I used two third of a 250g packet)
  • A can of diced tomatoes (ideally passata would be better, but life is not always fair)
  • Half an onion (not featured in the picture)
  • (Vegan) cheese – see above
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Paprika (not featured in the picture)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional and not featured)

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What to do

  • Chop up the onion and chuck it in a pan with some olive oil.

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  • With your holy hands, mush up the tofu until it vaguely resembles some sort of mince (well, something like what it looks like below).

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  • Chuck the tofu in the pan as well.

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Top tip: Tofu absorbs water like a sponge, so you might want to stand there with a jug of water and pour some in the pan when needed (I don’t have a non-sticky pan so I had to keep an eye on it constantly). Also, to me there’s no such thing as overcooked tofu, so let it simmer as long as it needs and don’t worry about it getting charred.

  • When it looks like the tofu is almost done, add the diced tomatoes and the spices.

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Mine looked a bit too watery so I added some nutritional yeast to soak the excess liquid up. You might not need to do it, however you can’t go wrong with nutritional yeast, so feel free to sprinkle some on top anyway.

  • Time to make da polenta. This is entirely up to you, but I started to make mine at the very end because instant polenta is tricky as fuck and you need your whole concentration if you want to make it right. (Also, it only takes two minutes so when the polenta is done you’re ready to eat.) Basically, just follow the instructions on the packaging, which will tell you to boil some water, slowly pour in the polenta powder, and STIR LIKE HELL until blended. You literally have to stir non-stop or you’ll end up with los of lumps (which I did. See below).

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  • You’re done! Transfer the polenta onto a plate, cover with the tofu ragù, and dig in.

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Ps. If you end up with too much polenta, fry it. You can thank me later.

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