As winter approaches I find I look more to the pantry and less to the fridge for my ingredients. Partly due to the fact that we are trying to eat seasonally as much as we can, and partly due to the fact that things made from pantry staples tend to stick to your ribs: beans, grains, pasta, lentils, etc. These dishes lend themselves to cold nights. This particular recipe I threw together last night out of desperation, since I was away over the weekend and did not have a chance to hit the grocery store. It turned out quite good and was achieved in under thirty minutes. I also like the possibilities it presents for modification. For example, this is a Mexican-flavored dish, but if you replace the black beans with cannellini beans, replace the salsa with some pesto or marinara, mozzarella for cheddar etc. you will get a totally different dish built on the same simple framework. Click through for the recipe.
note: I didn't measure as I went so amounts are approximations
Black Bean Polenta Pie
2 cups of stock
1 cup of salsa, plus more for topping
1/4 cup of Goya Recaito (a cilantro-based cooking sauce)
cumin, chili powder, mexican oregano, crushed red peppers
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes
8oz of quick-cook polenta
grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 325
1. Heat up stock on a back burner.
2. In an oven-proof 12-inch skillet cook the salsa and Recaito for 5 minutes or so, over med-low heat, until thickened.
3. Add spices to taste (maybe 3 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder and oregano, sprinkling of crushed peppers).
4. Mix well, cook until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Add a bit of stock if too dry.
5. Add beans, mix well, then add tomatoes. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
6. While beans are cooking, beat two eggs in a mixing bowl. Add polenta and mix well, then add stock, mix, then add parm cheese, maybe 1/4 cup, maybe less. Mixture should be a bit stiff.
7. Add polenta to beans, stir thoroughly until everything is combined, and sprinkle cheddar on top.8. Bake for 10 minutes or until browned on top and firm to the touch. Remove form oven, let it set for as long as you can stand and then slice and serve.