Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Raymond's Mexican Polenta

Oh how I love my husband! 

As I've mentioned I have a list of recipes and ideas that I have on my "To Make" list.  Well we had just gotten back into town from a long weekend in Colorado...look at these mountains! 

We had so much fun, biked around the city, climbed 2-14er's - kinda a big deal, tried out breweries, and hung out with a good friend of ours.

Oh, and did I mention that he surprised me with this trip to go see MY friend with plane tickets that his co-workers got him for HIS birthday...I think I got a winner. 

Anyway, we get back into town, and like it always goes, we have no food in our fridge, or the stuff that is in our fridge has gone bad and needs to be thrown out.  I ask my husband if I should make dinner tonight or if he had anything planned.  He told me that he would make dinner so that I could study (score), then he asked if I had anything I was craving.  I sent him a recipe I had an idea for a while back but hadn't had a chance to try yet, and he told me he would make it (double score!).  He did tell me he was going to make his own version of what I sent him, so I had no idea what direction he was going to go with it...well okay, maybe I had a guess, but I was waaay off.  After 3 months of marriage we're not quite reading each other's minds yet, so we're still able to surprise each other.  :)  The result...a ridiculously yummy meal, made with pantry staples that I bet everyone has on hand!  He even made the polenta from scratch!  The recipe I gave him made no mention that you could buy pre-made polenta, so not sure if he knows you can or not, but I'm definitely not telling him that because homemade is so good...or maybe I just did...whoops.  :) 

After dinner I drilled him as best as I could to figure out the recipe.  He's a bit like I used to be, before I decided I should start measuring things a bit and write down what I do so I can re-create the good meals, so here goes.


1 can black beans, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can Rotel
3/4 cup salsa
2 - 18oz rolls of Polenta (or make from scratch)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese


In a medium saute pan saute onions and bell peppers until almost done.

Add in black beans, Rotel, chili powder, ground cumin, and cayenne pepper.

Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice Polenta or prepare (if you are making from scratch).

Press half of the polenta into bottom of a large (9 x 13) baking dish.

Top with bean mixture and sprinkle cheese on top.

Layer the rest of the polenta on top of the cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Broil for 2-3 minutes to create a crisp crust.

Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.


This really was such a great dinner! I wish I had gotten more pictures of it, but unfortunately I was in the other room studying.  This fills a large dish, but it will go quickly.  I was thrilled with the amount he made, because that meant I got to take the leftovers for lunch!  Lucky me!  :-)

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