Polenta with Red Chile Sauce & Black Beans
From: Karen C.
This is a loooong recipe, but it doesn't sound too difficult.
Recipe By: The Natural Cafe in Santa Fe; Serving Size: 6
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups stone ground yellow cornmeal
- 3 cups cold water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 3/4 cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons margarine -- melted
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil for grilling
- Red Chile Sauce:
- 5 cloves garlic -- pressed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup ground New Mexico red chile
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water*
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
For Polenta: Oil a 4x8 loaf pan with the 1 tsp. olive oil. Set aside.
- 2 cups dried black beans -- sorted and washed
- 5 cups to 7 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic -- minced
- 1/8 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon New Mexico red chile
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
Toast the cornmeal over medium heat in a heavy skillet until it
is fragrant but not browned. Immediately pour the cornmeal into
a bowl and let cool.
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the 3 cups water and
the salt to a boil. Whisk together the cooled cornmeal and the 2
3/4 cups water. Pour this mxture into the boiling water, stirring
constantly. When the polenta begins to boil, cover the pot and reduce
the heat to low. Cook the polenta until it is vey thick and soft,
about 45-55 minutes.
Stir in the melted margarine, then spoon the polenta into the
oiled pan, pressing it down firmly into the pan using either your
hand or a sppon dipped in cold water. Sprinkle on the 1/2 tsp. olive
oil and rub it over the surface of the polenta. Let the polenta
cool, then cover it with waxed paper or plastic wrap and store in
refrigerator until ready to grill. Can keep in refrigerator for
up to 2 days.
To grill the polenta, invert the pan onto a cutting board and
tap firmly. The polenta may come out the first time but, if not,
simply run a knife around the edge of the pan and try again. Slice
the polenta into 12 1/2-inch pieces. Rinse or wipe the knife between
In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, grill the polenta slices
in the 2 to 4 tbsp. oil until golden and crisp on both sides. Serve
immediately with Red Chile Sauce and Black Beans.
To prepare Red Chile Sauce:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute the garlic in the
olive oil until golden. Add the cornmeal and cook 1 minute, stirring
constantly. Add the red chile and continue cooking only until fragrant.
Do not let the chile brown or the sauce will taste bitter. Remove
the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the stock, then bring
the sauce to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer
10-15 minutes. Add the black pepper, oregano, butter, and salt and
simmer until the flavors mingle 5-10 minutes more.
This sauce will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Makes 3 cups.
NOTE: Flavor will be much richer when the sauce is made with vegetable
stock instead of water.
To Prepare Black Beans:
Soak the beans in the water overnight before cooking or bring
the beans and water to a boil, cook for 5 minutes, then let stand
for 1 hour before proceeding.
Cook the beans in a large saucepan or Dutch oven until they are
very tender but still whole, about 1 to 2 hours. Make sure beans
are done before seasoning them because salt will inhibit further
Add remaining ingredients to the cooked beans and stir well.