Mexican Polenta Stuffed Peppers


Yet another recipe from the Moosewood Restaurants Simple Suppers cookbook. This dish was very much different from the dinners we usually eat...but that is a good thing. The original recipe calls for 5 large bell peppers, which I assume would use all the polenta up. We only used 1 pepper and therefore we had a lot of polenta leftover. In the cookbook, they suggest to make polenta cakes and serve them with marinara sauce over them. I plan to do just that. I poured the remaining polenta in a square glass baking dish (sprayed with non-stick spray) and put it in the fridge to cool. Stay tuned to see what I come up with to use it up! Speaking of the polenta, I just used regular cornmeal, so the suggested ratio was 3 cups water to 1 cup cornmeal, which is what I used. If you use polenta cornmeal, the ratio is 4 cups water to 1 cup polenta. The recipe below reflects using regular cornmeal (3:1).


5 Bell Peppers (I used green)
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt
3 cups Cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 cup Cornmeal
1 1/2 cups Corn Kernels
1 tablespoon Olive Oil or Butter (I used olive oil)
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Spanish Olives, chopped (I omitted)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, but leave the stem ends on so that the peppers will hold their shape. Brush the pepper halves with oil, inside and out, and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Place them cut-side up on an oiled baking sheet and roast them in the oven until tender, but still holding their shape, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, bring the water, salt, and red pepper flakes to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream while whisking. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until thickened. Stir in the corn, oil/butter, 1 cup of the 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 them to the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.