I’m pretty good about meal planning, but even when diligently planning main courses, I often don’t think about the sides until that night. I generally have well-stocked cupboards and some sort of green vegetable in the fridge, so on those nights, I end up making whatever sounds best with that particular dish.
The “grains” section of my cupboard is quite plentiful – white and brown rice, bulgur, farro, quinoa, barley, couscous, pasta, unseasoned bread cubes, etc. The cornmeal in a canister on my countertop, though, tends to be forgotten. So, when I wasn’t sure what kind of shrimp to make (or what to make it with), I decided to do a more Mexican-style polenta alongside some cumin & chili-rubbed shrimp.
For the shrimp, I just sprinkled on (ok, I was a bit heavy handed) some chili powder (regular and ancho), cumin & salt, and sauteed it in a skillet. The polenta was the perfect complement. I like my polenta a little thick, but if you like it more creamy/runny, just add more chicken broth, or you can even add some milk closer to the end.
Roasted Corn & Poblano Polenta
Printer Friendly Recipe
1 poblano pepper
3/4 cup roasted corn*
2 tsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2/3 to 2 cups chicken broth (depending on how thick you want the polenta)
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup (1 oz.) cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
salt and pepper
Over a gas burner or under your broiler, char the poblano on all sides, until the skin is blistery and black. Put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Once cooled, peel and dice.
Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat Add the garlic and stir until just fragrant. Stir in the chicken broth, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the polenta – it will absorb the liquid almost immediately. Add the diced poblano and corn. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until cooked, about 10-15 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in the cheese and reseason if necessary. Serve immediately.
*I roast the corn in oven for about 8 minutes (for individual kernels) but grilling it is delicious if you are already grilling something else!
Cumin and Chili Shrimp with Roasted Corn & Poblano Polenta