This is one of my kids' favorite meals. It combines everything they love to eat—cheese, corn, and polenta—in one dish. (My older daughter picks out the green chiles but my toddler eats them.) I serve this along side a green salad for an easy weeknight meal, but it could easily be a side dish for a Tex-Mex meal or an accompaniment to grilled chicken, pork, or shrimp.
CREAMY CHILE CHEESE POLENTA
- 3 cups of liquid (water, broth, milk, or a combo; I use half water, half 1% milk)
- 1 cup of polenta (not the quick cooking kind, hit up your bulk foods section of your grocery store)
- unsalted butter (I used half a stick, you can use less)
- 1 small can of roasted diced green chiles
- 1 bag of frozen corn
- 2 good handfuls of grated cheddar cheese (or whatever you like)
Preheat oven to 325º.
Bring salted liquid to boil in a medium, heavy-bottomed pan. Slowly sprinkle in the polenta while stirring constantly. This should take 5-7 minutes. (Reduce heat to low, watch out for bubbling exploding polenta.)
Stir until polenta is incorporated with the liquid then add butter. Mix well, then add the chiles and corn.
Heat that through (about 3-5 minutes) then add cheese, reserving some for the top. Remove from hear (polenta will not be cooked through, that's okay.) Stir quickly then turn the mixture out into a greased glass Pyrex dish (prefereably with a cover) or similar pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover (or cover tightly with foil). Bake for 35-45 minutes until mixture is bubbly.
For kids, let cool slightly before serving. For adults, pass the Cholula hot sauce.
[recipe and photos: Stefania Pomponi Butler]