Polenta originated in Northern Italy where it was used in place of pasta. And it is just as delicious. If you haven’t tried it yet, this recipe will convert you.
Polenta is basically a cornmeal mush, which I know does not sound very appetizing but it is really quite delicious. It was originally made from other grains but is generally now made from cornmeal. You can buy a bag of polenta, or just cornmeal. For this recipe buy it in a tube ready to go. You will find it next to the pasta at the grocery store.
Having said all of that you may ask why I am sharing a recipe with a Mexican twist, and I don’t have a good answer. But it works, and it’s delicious. The Mexicans use a lot of corn and cornmeal so it’s a nice crossover.
Slice up one tube and cover the bottom of the pan. You could do the same with ground cornmeal or polenta.
**This could easily become a vegetarian dish by leaving out the ground meat.
So, I should say something about the fact that I sauted the polenta slices before putting the pie together. By doing so the polenta seems less dense.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven and cover with 2 cups of cheese and cook for 2-3 minutes longer until cheese is melted.
Mexican Polenta Pie
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- 2 t chili powder
- 1 t coriander
- 1½ t cumin
- ½ t salt
- 2 tubes polenta **in the pasta aisle
- 2 cups cheese, grated **Mexican blend or cheddar
- 1-2 cups sour cream
- 1 bunch cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Spray 2½ quart casserole dish with cooking spray. (A 9×13 inch pan will work.)
- Heat large skillet drizzled with olive oil (or cooking spray). Cook and break apart turkey.
- Add in black beans, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, edamame, salsa and spices. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Slice one tube of polenta and cover bottom of baking dish. *If desired fry polenta slices in a hot skillet about 3 minutes per side. Use cooking spray or olive oil.
- Spread the meat and vegetable mixture over polenta.
- Slice remaining tube of polenta spread evenly on top.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Cover with cheese and bake 3 minutes longer.
- Serve with sour cream and cilantro.