Chances are that if you are on a special diet like we are, the cost of your ingredients has gone up; and no one needs a bigger grocery bill – especially not these days. So it is now more important to me than ever to try to use everything that I bring into my kitchen and let nothing go to waste. This week my pantry was stocked with a variety of ingredients perfect for a little Mexican inspired polenta dish. Polenta is one of my all-time favorite ingredients to cook with. It is super easy, extremely versatile and lucky for us Bob’s Red Mill makes certified gluten free Polenta!
Nonstick cooking spray
1.5 cups Polenta
3 cups water
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Olive oil for brushing. (I use lime infused olive oil)
Spray a casserole dish or half sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. (I also line my pan with parchment for easy cleanup)
Over high heat, bring water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Once the water reaches the boiling point reduce heat to medium and whisk in the polenta. Whisk constantly until mixture begins to thicken about 2-3 minutes. Add your bell pepper, cilantro, kosher salt, olive oil, cracked pepper and whisk until fully cooked through and very thick about 3-5 more minutes.
Pour polenta mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of your spoon or spatula so that it is completely even. I like my polenta cakes between 1/2 -3/4 inch so that they will hold up on the grill. Allow the polenta to cool for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
Makes 8 large polenta rounds and will serve 4 people.
From here you can top these little beauties any way you want. Tonight we topped with Roasted Poblano + Cilantro Cashew Cream, Smokey Black Beans and Cilantro + Roasted Sunflower Seed Pesto that was left from our Fiery Pesto Pizza as well as pico de gallo and fresh avocado.