P is for Polenta

Polenta and Black Beans-Duo Dishes

We’ve been on a polenta kick lately.  It started with a fennel laced polenta, then we moved on to a polenta topped pie.  In between all of that, there’s been goat cheese polenta stuffed chicken breast and herby polenta cakes with fried eggs for breakfast.  Although we’d love to share all of the polenta dishes we’ve made, you’d tire quickly of the redundancy.  In addition to the other glowing reviews we’ve given polenta, one of the other things we love is how you can make an entire meal with it using the least of ingredients.  We’re talking wiped out fridge and bare cabinets here!  But there it was–polenta.  Staring at us like a three pound bag full of answers to our culinary conundrum.  With a little help from a few other ingredients, we were able to pull something together in a pinch.

In an effort to get in and out of the kitchen as soon as possible prior to our first night working a real restaurant kitchen (we’ll share soon!), this dish was born over the weekend.  It was cooked and consumed in 30 minutes or less.  Talk about hunger calling the shots!  We’re not sure if your local grocery stores keep crema mexicana on stock, but if you can find it, we suggest you give it a try.  Although we fully support making healthier choices that work for you, a little dollop of this won’t kill you right?  That being said, a plop of fat free sour cream would be just fine.

TexMex Polenta and Black Beans – Serves 2
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups cold water
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup jarred jalapeno slices, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
14 ounces black beans, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Crema Mexicana or sour cream

1.  Pour 1 1/2 cups of the water into a pot and set to a boil.  Stir cornmeal into remaining 1/2 cup of water along with taco seasoning and salt.  Once water is boiling, add wet cornmeal, jalapenos and cilantro.  Stir well.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until thick, approximately 5-10 minutes.

2.  As cornmeal cooks, mix black beans with garlic, lime juice and zest, cayenne pepper and cumin in a smaller pot on the stove.  Cook on medium until heated through, approximately 5 minutes.

3.  Spoon polenta into a bowl and top with beans.  Dollop with crema mexicana before serving.

Click HERE for printable recipes.


32 thoughts on “P is for Polenta

  1. a couple after my own heart! I loooove polenta in every fashion and form. Had some really yummy and different style in Barbados last summer during their annual culinary festival.

    i’m working on a tex mex dish right now for a client. too bad they can’t really serve polenta in their venture.

  2. I agree with Carolyn — I usually do Italian/Mediterranean. It looks fantastic Tex-Mex style. Good for you guys! I’m always learning something new.

  3. What a fun interpretation. I admit I usually serve polenta with Italian or Mediterranean flavors. so seeing this Tex-Mex one really shows me the greater possibilities out there.

  4. mmm. Can’t beat that… you’ve got everything I love about polenta listed there. SO versatile.

    I’m thinking you could do quite a bit with the tex-mex here — quite a bit like tamales, really. Fantastic.

  5. Polenta and Tex-mex are two of my favorites – put them together and it’s a match made in heaven! I would never tire of your polenta recipes!

  6. I’m convinced. Polenta is the BEST stuff on earth, and you get to experiment with it. Tex-Mex is something I never would have come up with. Impressive! I would also use decorate it with some sliced avocadoes and maybe queso fresco or cojita.

  7. I love polenta and very curious how you did the chicken stuffed with polenta too.

    Really curious how your cooking experience went especially since that was yesterday.

  8. In my experience, there is no such thing as too much polenta. I could eat it constantly. There is just something about the corn flavor that I love. I could also eat cornbread for infinite amounts of time.

    I love that the Tex-Mex flair that you added to it!

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