Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mexican Polenta-Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Source: Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers

Serves 4 to 6.

5 large bell peppers (any color you choose - I did red and green)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
sprinkling of salt

4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this didn't add much heat at all - I would definitely increase next time)
1 cup polenta cornmeal
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (I used frozen)
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped spanish olives

1 16-ounce jar of your favorite salsa
1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 450ยบ. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, but leave the stem ends on so the peppers will hold their shape (whoops, I forgot this part). Brush the pepper halves with oil, inside and out, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place cut-side up on an oiled baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender but still holding their shape, about 15 minutes.

While the peppers roast, in a heavy saucepan, bring the water, salt, and red pepper flakes to a boil. Add the polenta in slow, steady stream while whisking. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until thickened. Stir in the corn, oil or butter, 1 cup of cheese, and the olives. Remove from the heat.

Fill the roasted pepper halves with the polenta mixture. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Meanwhile, combine the salsa, black beans, and cilantro in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

To serve, spoon some of the black bean salsa on each dinner plate and place one or two pepper halves on top.

I talked about this recipe HERE.

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