Polenta, along with eggs, I regard as perfect foods. Simple and nutritious. Versatile and affordable. Cornmeal and water mixed together and cooked briefly until thickened. You might be wandering around the tundra and as long as you had a packet of corn meal and a flint, you would eat. Fire up some dried yak chips, melt some snow and you’re in business.
Polenta can bridge your day from breakfast to dinner: as a hot cereal or, after being refrigerated, sliced and browned in a little butter and drizzled with maple syrup. Substitute vegetable or meat stock for the water, add some seasonings and shredded cheese and you have a fine side dish or foundation for sauces, vegetables and ground or shredded meat.
This meal came together with a chipotle polenta topped with black beans, chorizo (removed from casings and browned in skillet), shredded cheese, sliced ripe olives, fresh corn, diced red onion and diced tomatoes. Voila! Nutritious and delicious and…spoonable!
Recipe for Chipotle Polenta to follow.