Cheddar Jalapeno Polenta for Cinco De Mayo!

Happy Cinco De Mayo, Everyone!  Thanks for stopping by to read the blog.  I decided I wanted something a little different this year.  I was browsing the aisles in the natural food store here looking for Rye Flour, and ran across this package:

My friend Erin played with Polenta a bit while we were cooking in Arkansas.  She made the best Polenta!  It was loaded with parmesan that crisped up nicely when fried.  I thought it would be GREAT with cheddar and freshly chopped jalapeno– boy, was I right!

This makes a wonderful snack for Cinco De Mayo.  They would also be great with a dollop of sour cream, some salsa, and a fresh sprig of cilantro.  But we didn’t have any of those things in the lab.  Darn it!  Next time…

Cheddar Jalapeno Polenta
6 cups water
2 tsp salt
2 cups Polenta (aka grits)
2 jalapenos, chopped (I left the seeds and ribs in one half of one of the jalapenos.  Didn’t want it to be too spicy!)
3 Tbsp butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle powder

1.  Bring the water and salt to a boil in a LARGE pot.  Slowly stir in polenta (so it doesn’t lump) and then stir in the jalapenos.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  It will get very very thick.

2.  Add the butter, cheese, cumin and chipotle powder.  Stir well until it is all incorporated.

3.  Pour the polenta into a 9″x13″.  You could serve it warm at this point and it would be good, but taking the extra time to let it cool and then fry makes it even better!

4.  Place the pan in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Then cut into 20 squares.

5.  Remove a square, form it into a ball, then press it flat into a patty.

6.  Fry the patties in canola oil or vegetable oil until crisp and golden brown on each side (about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

7.  Remove to paper towels to drain and serve warm.

Enjoy!

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