I made two recipes out of Vegetarian Classics last night. The first was an appetizer, Spicy Black Bean Dip. The second was Cheese Polenta with Corn and Green Chilies, a hot and satisfying entree.
The SPICY BLACK BEAN DIP was a smoky, tasty delight. It is quick and easy to make, only requiring throwing the ingredients in a food processor for a few turns around the blade. The recipe calls for chipolte pepper in adobe sauce, and I was afraid the pepper would add too much smoky flavor to the dish (neither Mr. Sexy Veggie or myself like overwhelming smoky flavors). However, the pepper gave the dip depth and a little kick, and was not too smoky at all! The dip was enjoyed with homemade tortilla chips.
The main course dish was CHEESE POLENTA WITH CORN AND GREEN CHILIES. I have never made polenta before, and was interested in seeing how cornmeal can become a yummy dinner. I was impressed!
To make the polenta, the recipe calls for mixing cornmeal with water and milk. Stirring constantly, you bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until thick, about 10 minutes.
After the mixture is thick, you pour half into a baking dish, top with corn, chilies, and cheese, and cover with the remaining polenta. Spicy Monetary Jack cheese tops the casserole.
After baking for 40 minutes, the cheese is melted, and the dish is ready to enjoy!
I was a little uncertain about the mushy consistency of this dish, but the flavor was great. Mr. Sexy Veggie and I both agreed that something crunchy on the side (a cheese quesadilla, perhaps) would have taken the focus away from the mealy texture. However, the leftovers reheated perfectly for lunch today!! I am pleased with my first try at polenta, and will try it again!