Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chipotle-Cheddar Polenta

This was one of the recipes Mr. Max and I learned to make at our first Central Market cooking class, Texas Tastes. It was originally made with grits but polenta is such a close substitute, I thought I'd just swap it out to make it "our own". The recipe we took home from our class packet was for -12 servings so I just tried to wing it decreasing for a 2-4 serving.

Grocery List:
  • 3/4 cup polenta (or grits)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 5 tbsp. butter (hold on hips, it'll be okay), softened
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • 1 tbsp. chipotle adobo, pureed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Go ahead and start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. The directions said to cook the grits - or in our case, polenta - according to package. The problem being, my polenta was from the big, do-it-yourself canisters at Whole Foods, meaning no package. I found online that you cook 4 cups water to every 1 cup of polenta. Since I was doing 3/4 cup of polenta, I did four measured cups of 3/4 water, so simply 3 cups (I made that more difficult on myself than I needed to, but trying hard to be accurate). In a large pot, salt your water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, slowly add the polenta, stirring so that it doesn't clump. It took about 8 minutes for the polenta to absorb the water on medium-high heat.

Check out this other fun toy I found at Central Market today too! It's a great little spoon rest, clips right on the side of your pot. Can't find this exact one, but you can find something very similar right here.

Next, add your butter and stir well. Turn the heat to low and add your mixed egg slowly, making sure the egg is stirred in before you add more. It's important to turn this down to low heat so that your egg doesn't cook or "scramble" in your polenta.

This is what the chiles in adobo looks like, found at Central Market.

I used my food processor to puree, then scooped out 1 tbsp worth and added to the polenta.

Stir in about 4 shakes worth of Worcestershire sauce and the dry mustard. Take a little taste and a deep breath as you enjoy it. Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper if you want it to have more kick, but the Adobo chiles should have all the spice you need. Finally, add the cheese!

Grease a cast iron skillet - another new toy!! Pour the polenta mix into the skillet and stick it in the oven for about 35 minutes, until browned.

Served with ancho adobe flank steak and a green bean, squash, bell pepper medley.

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