A straightforward and healthy Vegan Dish! Although I like to create my dishes occasionally, I enjoy trying out recipes created by well-known chefs and adding my Caribbean twist and flavor. I recently created my version of a recipe created by renowned Chef Tai Ronnen at The Wynn Las Vegas, which was a great challenge.
Today I am happy to share an inspired dish from a specialty vegan menu created by Chef Tai Ronnen. Chef Tai Ronen for those who are not familiar is one of the most renowned celebrity vegetarian Chefs who has worked for many celebrities in Hollywood including Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres, catered the first vegan dinner at the U.S. Senate and worked at many vegan restaurants such as Candle 79 in NYC, and Madeleine Bistro in LA.
Polenta-Mushroom Cake served with Lentil Ragout and Sweet Pea Sauce inspired me to create Polenta Herbed Cake served with Lentil Ragout, Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms, and Butter Bean Puree. Being across the country and only having the ability to dine virtually is an experience we all know too well. So why not bring Vegas home!
Selecting a dish that would remind me of home, Haiti, was a hard choice. I opted for the Polenta-Mushroom Cake with Lentil Ragout and Sweet Pea Sauce because Polenta is one of the staple dishes in Haiti. In the Haitian Culture grains and beans are widely consumed. Although lentils and Shiitake mushrooms are part of the culture, mixing other ingredients would only mean a healthy and hearty meal.
Being a foodie has taught me to be more adventurous and fearless of trying new things, new ideas. One other aspect of the Haitian Culture is, we cook a lot and make several dishes for one sitting. It is almost like eating a five-course meal at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Chef Tai Ronnen Polenta recipe is a perfect selection to slowly start incorporating more vegan meals and less meat into my daily diet, and hopefully, my family will follow without major complaints – keeping my fingers crossed.
Polenta Herbed Cake is similar to making a typical Haitian Polenta except of the way it is served. The polenta is cooked with herbs such as fresh parsley, chives, scallion, thyme and garlic, a typical Haitian dish. A Bean puree another typical dish of Haiti served with grains is made with Butter Beans, smoother and creamier than white beans sauce, another classic dish. Turning to another part of the world with my own creation of Lentil Ragout to spice things up with bold flavors from fresh parsley, thyme, shallots, sweet red peppers and garlic, a delightful blend of earthy flavors, and to finish, Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms cooked in white wine and herbs to replace the usual meat dish at dinner.
These were the selections provided.
I created a meal that may look totally altered, but most of the main ingredients are incorporated and served a bit different because of culture differences. Butter Bean Puree has replaced the Sweet Pea Sauce because we usually don’t eat polenta with sweet pea sauce. Sweet Pea Sauce or Puree is mostly served with white rice. Because in the Haitian culture we typically serve bean puree separate from the grains, I chose to do the same instead of plating each dish on one plate and one on top of the other. The Polenta sitting on a bed of lentils is ideal because all the flavors blended to create a comfort meal that reminds me of home. To complete, the bean puree is served separately and garnished with marinated red peppers
Here is the choice of Glad to be sharing my inspired vegan meal, Polenta Herbed Cake served with Ragout Lentils, Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms and Butter Bean Puree, an inspiration from Chef Tai Ronnen, Polenta-Mushroom Cake served with Lentil Ragout and Sweet Pea Sauce.