My submission for the 2007 Cooking Light contest. A hit with those who tried it but, sadly, did not make the cut. For the salsa, I like to roast 2 ears of corn on the cob for 15 mins in the oven, then cut the kernels off. Gives it an extra level of flavor!
- 2 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 3⁄4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper
- 1 1⁄2 cups plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 3⁄4 cup fresh corn kernels
- 1⁄4 cup scallion, sliced fine
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄3 cup cilantro, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Slowly add the cornmeal while stirring constantly (important to avoid lumps).
- Reduce heat to simmer and continue to stir the mixture for 20 minutes or until the polenta is thick enough to hold a wooden spoon upright.
- Add jalepeno, cheese, salt and pepper to polenta and stir well to combine.
- Pour polenta in an oiled dish or pan and refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour but this will vary).
- While polenta cools, prepare salsa by combining all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper if desired.
- Remove cooled polenta from fridge and turn out onto cutting board.
- Cut into 8 servings and place on an oiled baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray or lighlty brush with oil.
- Place polenta in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Place 2 servings on each plate and top with salsa.
We really enjoyed this! The addition of peppers and cheese to the polenta was very tasty, and the salsa is fresh and complex. I can see the polenta cakes being served without the salsa as a bread to accompany Tex-Mex dishes, and the salsa can be served in many ways. The polenta cakes were light on the inside and crispy on the outside - just like fried, only better!