A traditional polenta cake with an unexpected heat of pepper and cool citrus glaze
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup corn meal (any kind works, medium or fine grind)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup diced fresh jalapeños
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1 orange (large)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Bring water to a boil and add salt
- Stir in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
- As you cook this it will thicken. If it gets too thick to stir, add 1/4 cup of water at a time.
- After 30 minutes, take a teaspoon of mixture and allow to cool for 5 minutes and taste. It should have a smooth finish and not feel gritty. If it is gritty, allow to cook a little longer and repeat tasting until a smooth texture is left.
- Stir in cheese and diced jalapeños.
- Spray a 9x9 cake pan with cooking oil or butter
- Transfer corn meal to pan and spread out until even.
- Allow to cool for 30 minutes or up to 3 days in refrigerator.
- While cooling, prepare glaze:
- Zest all the skin of one orange and set aside
- Juice the orange and add water to form one cup of juice and place in medium sauce pan.
- Over medium heat, stir in the sugar and cook for 2 minutes
- In a small bowl, combine the corn starch with a tbsp of water and mix until dissolved
- Add this to the juice mixture and cook over medium heat until thickened.
- Remove from heat, add orange zest, and stir.
- When polenta has cooled, slice into 2x2 inch pieces and place in sauté pan sprayed with cooking spray and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side.
- Place on serving plate and drizzle orange mixture over top.
- Serve and enjoy