I knew if I put tequila in the title it would grab your interest.
I made polenta with mushroom sauce the other day, and when we'd all licked our plates clean with second helpings we still had more polenta pieces than mushroom sauce. The next day I decided I was in the mood for southwestern food (don't you dare say Tex Mex around me!) so I came up with this.
It was easy peasy, too, since I already had the polenta made. (Actually, I made a bit more, about a third of the recipe, which took about twenty minutes while I listened to a discussion about GMO crops on Radio 4. I'm pretty sure I was using non-GMO corn... )
The bean mixture I've made before, and served over rice, but having a crusty plank of polenta to cut into added a whole new dimension. So does the tequila. We should cook with it more often. Once the alcohol evaporates it leaves an interesting glow to the dish.
I'd have used fresh corn, but at two pounds (four dollars) for two ears I'll stick with frozen. (Why are they putting that precious stuff in fuel tanks, I want to know.) But if you live in a corn growing region, go for the fresh.
I added a dollop of sour soy cream, but I also thought it would be good with the Cilantro Tofu Lime Cream from the Millennium Cookbook. I also might take the time to make my own enchilada sauce next time round, but for an easy meal opening a can of Hatch Fire Roasted Enchilada Sauce can't be beat. If you cannot buy it where you live make friends with someone from New Mexico.
The whole thing was on the table in less than an hour, but it tasted like I'd spent hours in the kitchen. And you all know better: when would I blog if all I did was cook? And drink tequila.
Polenta with Southwestern Black Beans and Tequila
1 cup polenta (yellow corn grits)
4 cups water
Bring water to a boil. Slowly pour in polenta, whisking constantly. Continue to stir over medium heat until polenta thickens and pulls away from the sides, about 15 minutes. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Set aside or refrigerate for 30 minutes until it's firm.* Cut into shapes—diamonds, squares, rectangles, or if using a circular pan, into wedges.
Heat a large saute pan. Add olive oil/margarine. Fry the polenta pieces until they begin to form a crispy crust—about 5 minutes on each side. Remove to a serving plate. (You can fry the polenta while the rest of the ingredients are cooking.)
*I didn't actually wait quite this long; mine firmed up pretty quickly.
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, minced
1 cup corn kernels
2 cups black beans
1 cup diced tomatoes
splash of tequila
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon chile powder (more or less to taste)
2 tablespoons fresh coriander/cilantro, optional
sour soy cream
fire roasted enchilada sauce, heated
Sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos and corn, and continue to sauté until corn starts to turn brown. Stir in beans and tomatoes. Add a splash of tequila and the lime juice.
Add chile powder, salt and pepper to taste. Heat until the flavors combine, another 15 minutes. Add coriander/cilantro if desired.
To serve, spread a round of enchilada sauce on a plate. Add a couple of pieces of polenta. Spoon bean mixture over the polenta, and top with the soy cream and a lime for garnish.
Notes on ingredients: I used Hatch fire roasted enchilada sauce, because I have friends in New Mexico who know how to treat me well. You could make your own enchilada sauce. If you can't take the heat, go easy on the jalapenos. Some are hotter than others, you know. I used dried chipotle chile powder, again, courtesy of New Mexico.