After a long busy day, when I get hungry and realize it's already dinner time but I'm still at my desk, want to know what makes me happy? Remembering that I have dinner all ready in the fridge and it just needs a quick re-heating. Really happy.
It's packed with flavor thanks to some good spices and your favorite salsa. And, of course, a cheesy topping always adds to the happiness. The cilantro gives it more of a Southwest feeling but feel free to use parsley instead if cilantro is not your thing. This dinner will be your thing, though. In fact, I have a feeling I'll be making it again next Sunday. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ingredients (6 Servings)
- Cornmeal Base:
- 1 Cup polenta
- 1 1/2 Cups water
- 1/2 Cup milk
- 1/4 Cup cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- Salt to taste
- Beef Topping:
- 1 lb. Ground beef
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 Teaspoon cumin
- Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 Cups salsa (heat level of your choice)
- 1 Can (approx. 15 oz.) red kidney beans
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus extra for topping
- 3/4 Cup cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Brown the beef in a large skillet and season with the oregano, cumin and salt. Stir in the salsa, beans and cilantro. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes so that the flavors can come together.
While the beef is cooking, add the polenta, water and milk to a pot and cook on medium heat (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently. When it starts to thicken, stir in the cheese and season. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes to firm up.
Spread the polenta in an even layer at the bottom of a casserole dish. The one I used is a 2 quart pan. Add the beef and bean mixture and top with the cheese. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Sprinkle on a bit of extra cilantro before serving, if desired.
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