I'm an odd duck in the world of breakfast. Where others gravitate toward sweet treats like pancakes or French toast, I am a sucker for huevos rancheros, sausage/potato platters, the spicier and more tangy the better. If this is a little much spice for your breakfast, try it for dinner with a side of black beans, salsa and a fried egg on top. I've given you my non-traditional method for making polenta in case you want to try a different way. —Savorykitchen
1 generous serving
cooked polenta, see below
chopped pickled jalapenos (or less - to taste)
You will need an immersion blender (better) or whisk (ok, but more work). Use a small saucepan if you're using the immersion blender or a small skillet if you're using a whisk.
Bring the water to a boil and add the polenta. Smush it around with a rubber spatula to break up the polenta Using the blender or the whisk, blend the polenta into the water until it softens and smooths out.
Stir in the shredded cheese, jalapenos and cilantro, holding a little of each back for garnish. When the cheese has melted, pour into a bowl, top with the garnishes and eat. Add additional hot sauce if you're like me.
Preheat the oven to 375. Pour the liquid, polenta, olive oil and a healthy pinch of salt into a 9x13 baking dish (like a brownie pan). Using a heatproof rubber spatula stir all the ingredients together.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Over the cooking time, you'll see the mixture turn from a cornmeal slurry to a smoother consistency. The oil will float across the surface until about halfway through the cooking time. BE CAREFUL, hot polenta is like lava: it'll splash when you don't expect it to and it will stick to you if you splash it on to yourself.
After about 45 minutes, the polenta should be smooth and thick. if it's too thick for your taste, whisk in a little more liquid. Whisk in the optional cheese and butter if you wish. Taste for seasoning (careful - hot stuff!) and adjust salt and pepper. Serve immediately for soft polenta or pour into a greased loaf pan to mold for slicing later.