From Mexican Food Made Simple, Thomasina Miers, Hodder & Stoughton, 2010.
My main dish for my Mexican meal had a polenta base. I’m always a little bit worried that my polenta will be a bit weak on taste so I concentrated on making it just right. I began by using salted water in which to pour the dry polenta. Once it began to leave the saucepan side I added a piece of butter and plenty of grated parmesan cheese. I continued stirring the mixture a little more while adding lots of freshly grated black pepper. When I felt it was ready I checked for saltiness and added just a touch more. It felt right so I poured it onto a small tray and spread it out until it was 3 or 4cm high. I covered it with plastic wrap and left it to cool completely.
When it was time for the vegetable component of the meal to be cooked I turned on the oven grill. I chopped a shallot and two cloves of garlic, a red chilli and a small amount of thyme and an equal amount of tarragon. Mushrooms were sliced and broccolini was cut into usable pieces.
I cut the polenta in long triangular wedges and placed them under the grill. In a pan I heated some olive oil and added the chopped shallot. After the shallot had cooked for a short while I added the garlic, the chilli and the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms had cooked down a little I added the thyme and the broccoli. It was also time to turn the polenta under the grill.
It was not long before the vegetables appeared to be done so I sprinkled over the chopped tarragon. The polenta was placed on serving plates and the vegetables on top. A little grated parmesan was sprinkled over as well as a few dribbles of extra virgin olive oil.
I did enjoy this. The polenta was a little crisp and was sufficiently flavoured. And the vegetables were flavoursome with a touch of chilli bite. It did not seem overly Mexican but we do seem to be influenced by the Tex Mex type of cuisine so it is pleasant to try something else.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔