Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mexican Polenta

Neither of us have ever had polenta before so I thought it might be fun to try, especially since Trader Joe's has been stocking it lately (in the pasta section, for those of you who will try this recipe). This recipe uses a tube of polenta, which you slice up. I thought that was cool and it was nice because it came together so very fast. This was especially nice because my class tonight was horrendous. So getting dinner on the table quickly was much appreciated. We really, really liked this a LOT! It was very flavorful and tasty. We would definitely make this again.

Changes: Added cayenne pepper, subbed shredded cheddar for the queso fresco, and left out the cilantro.


Mexican Polenta
From Vegetarian Times, 9/07

This recipe is a spin on tacos - but much heartier and easier to serve. You can make your own Mexican seasoning by combining 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt. Prepare the mix in larger batches, and keep in an airtight container, ready to go.

1 18-oz tube polenta, cut into 12 1/2-inch slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp Mexican or Cajun spice seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
1 tsp grated lime zest
1 15.5 oz can low-sodium red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream, optional

1. Position broiling pan, or rack if using electric oven, 3 inches from heat, and turn broiler to high. Spray polenta slices with cooking spray, and place on broiling pan or baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes per side, or until browned.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook 4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in lime juice, spice seasoning, garlic, and lime zest. Cook 5 minutes, or until onion is lightly browned. Add kidney beans and tomatoes; simmer 5 minutes, or until heated through.

3. Place 3 polenta slices on each plate; ladle bean mixture over top and sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

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