Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pumpkin Polenta with Chorizo and Black Beans

This recipe came from trolling the internet for recipes. Originally a Rachel Ray recipe, I ended up making it more of a Mexican dish than the Spanish one it was meant to be. The recipe didn't specify Spanish cured or Mexican fresh chorizo, so I bought some fresh Mexican chorizo from Central Market's meat department.
You can see the original recipe here at Yumsugar, but I'll write up my version instead, since it was quite delish.
I like to use a medium grind cornmeal that I cook in the oven as per Alton Brown's method instead of instant polenta. Hatch chiles are in season, so they made their way into the mix in lieu of the roasted red peppers the original recipe calls for.
The Spanish Manchego cheese, I'd already in it went.
I used less pumpkin than the orig. called for was plenty pumpkiny with about 3/4 of a can. This is good all round comfort food, that goes together pretty quickly.

Pumpkin Polenta with Chorizo and Black Beans:

a glug of olive oil
2 cloves garlic
a pinch of dried thyme
4 cups organic reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup Bob's Red Mill medium grind cornmeal
1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
~3/4 14oz can of pumkin puree
a dab of agave nectar
a couple grinds of pepper
~1 cup of grated Manchego cheese

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound fresh chorizo, removed from casing and broken up (Central Market's sausage wasn't hot at all)
1 medium onion, chopped (I used a red onion...nice color)
One 14-ounce can black beans, drained and washed
2-3 roasted hatch chilies, chopped or equivalent...maybe poblanos?
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (a generous handful)

Heat oven to 350.
In a 2.5-3 qt. oven proof saucepan, heat oil and saute garlic and thyme for ~1 minute.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Slowly add cornmeal, whisking all the while to prevent lumps.
Cover and put in the oven for 35-40 minutes total, whisking every 10 minutes to prevent lumps.
Add the pumpkin puree in the last 10 minutes of cooking in the oven.
When your polenta is done in the oven, add salt and pepper to taste and slowly incorporate the grated cheese.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil and the chorizo. Cook ~2-3 minutes, then add the onion and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the black beans and the chiles and heat through, another 1 to 2 minutes.

Place several scoops of polenta on plates or in shallow bowls and top with the chorizo and beans. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve.

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