Sunday, July 15, 2012

Taco Pie with Polenta

I'm a circular shopper in many ways.

1) I shop the outside of the supermarket, only darting into aisles for things like coconut milk and the bulk bins.
2) I shop according to published prices.

Sometimes, the circulars that arrive in the mail offer me a recipe or two.  Most of the time, I ignore them.  However, one of them caught my eye because it was a tamale pie with polenta.

Btw, the polenta tubes are circular, to go with the theme.

As for the dish itself, Tom loved it, but I did not.  This mixed review aside, I thought I would post it because it is exactly the kind of casserole you could take to a pot luck.  People would recognize the ingredients, they would generally like it, and it would disappear.  It also has all the hallmarks of a kid friendly meal--fast, large, inexpensive, cheesy and all the same not the worst thing you could feed them. Plus, the polenta has a great texture and the "chili" in the middle reminded me of the Wolf Brand chili of my youth.

I might have just lost you with the Wolf.

I found this in the Sprouts monthly circular.

2 logs of polenta
1 lb ground beef
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 jar salsa (I used roasted garlic)
1 can refried beans
2 c chicken stock
1 c sharp cheddar cheese

1) Heat oven to 400
2) Brown beef in sizeable pot (larger than a quart-sized saucepan)
3) Add spices to beef, stir around and cook another minute
4) Add salsa, beans and stock to beef.  Mix together and cook for about 10 minutes or until it thickens.
5) Cut polenta into 1/3" slices.  Place half on bottom of 9X13 baking dish.
6) Pour beef mixture over polenta.  Place second half of polenta onto beef.  Top with cheese.
7) Cover with foil, bake 30 minutes, remove foil and bake another 20.

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