Creamy polenta topped with seasoned veggies, black beans, pico de gallo, and all the toppings that the whole family will love.
I’ve always been a fan of fusion meals and this dish is no exception. When the hubs and I first got married, the show The Kitchen had recently launched on Food Network. We became instant fans because of how easy it was to connect with the recipes and content on the show. During covid lockdown, the girls started watching it with us and became fans as well. My oldest, Sanaya saw Jeff Mauro’s recipe for a 4 cheese polenta and decided she wanted to try it. The polenta in this recipe is a variation of his original recipe.
As to the Tex Mex toppings, those just popped into my brain as I was trying to figure out what I wanted for toppings. I started out with avocado for protein and the ball just started rolling from there. The taco seasoning on the veggies adds beautiful, earthy flavor to the bowl while the pico brightens the bowl. I also chose to add on radishes, green chilies, and cilantro for my toppings but there are no limits. You can add a squeeze of lime, some lettuce, olives, or even some corn. I love the versatility of this bowl.
Tex Mex Polenta Bowl
For the Polenta:
- Pinch of baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 c medium-grind stone-ground cornmeal
- 3 oz Asiago cheese, grated
- 1/4 c mascarpone cheese
- 3 Tbsp butter, unsalted
- 1/4 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
For the Seasoned Veggies:
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into 1" strips
- 1 Zucchini, sliced into 1" strips
- 1 Yellow Squash, sliced into 1" strips
- 1 Red Onion, sliced into 1" strips
- 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
For the Toppings:
- 1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 3-4 radishes, sliced
- Pico de Gallo
- 1-2 serrano peppers, sliced
- Cilantro to garnish
For the Polenta:
- Bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting, add the baking soda and salt.
- Pour the cornmeal into the water in a very slow stream from a measuring cup, all the while whisking in a circular motion to prevent lumps.
- Cover the lid and cook, vigorously stirring the polenta with a wooden spoon for about 10 seconds once every 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape clean the bottom and corners of the pot, until the polenta has lost its raw cornmeal taste and becomes soft and smooth, about 30 minutes.
- Stir in the Asiago,mascarpone, butter, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season to taste with salt and plenty of cracked black pepper. If the polenta is too thick, thin with some milk as desired.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat oil on medium flame. Add in the veggies and cook for 3-5 minutes to get a good char on them.
- Add in the taco seasoning and mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to let the spices blend well with the veggies. Turn off heat.
To Assemble the Bowls:
- Serve 3/4 c polenta in each bowl and top off with veggies, pico de gallo, black beans, avocado, radish, serrano peppers, and garnish with cilantro.
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