Saturday, August 9, 2008

Roasted Poblano Polenta

I wish I had remembered to photograph this dish right after I finished cooking it. This polenta was very creamy the first day and would have made a mouth-watering photo. But after the leftovers were put in the refrigerator, the polenta changed in consistency to become firmer, as shown in the photo. The leftovers may not have been quite as photogenic, but they were still delicious! This dish was a hit. The flavor of corn goes so well with poblano peppers, garlic and cheese. When you use quick-cooking polenta, this dish is finished in a flash and is so easy.

Roasted Poblano Polenta

1 cup of quick-cooking polenta
3 cups* of liquid (water or a combination of water and vegetable stock)
pinch of salt
1 poblano pepper, roasted, then seeded and cut into strips
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, roasted, then peeled and chopped
a handful of shredded cheese (I used cheddar) or more if you prefer it cheesier

Heat the liquid in a saucepan over high heat. When the water is just coming to a boil, lower the heat and pour in the polenta in slow stream, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and add a bit of salt, the poblano pepper and garlic. Stir constantly until most of the water is absorbed. Add the cheese and stir. Continue stirring and simmering until it is the consistency you desire, either creamy or firm. My polenta was done after 2 minutes total of stirring.

TIP: roast the pepper and the garlic cloves on a hot ungreased cast iron griddle on your stove top over medium-high heat, turning every couple of minutes until all sides are soft. It really doesn't take long at all, especially for the garlic. Set aside to cool so you don't burn yourself when you peel and cut them.

*Verify the amount of liquid that your package of quick cooking polenta suggests for one cup of dry polenta.

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