We’re right in the sweet spot of chile season. We’re a couple of weeks in on Hatch chile roasting; Anaheims, poblanos, jalapenos and serranos are plentiful at the farmers market, and we’re eating chile every way possible. It’s funny though, spicy food isn’t really part of Seattle’s DNA, and yet all the supermarkets only got hot Hatch chiles this year. That didn’t stop me from picking up a case — at 99c a pound, the chiles were about as cheap as I’ve ever seen ’em. So Tuesday was spent over the grill, roasting chiles. In the morning, there was green chile sauce, by lunch a red and green chile pizza and we wrapped up with Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese. All chile, all the time.
Luckily, it wasn’t all hot-hot-hot. The folks at Melissa’s Produce were kind enough to ship me a couple of pounds of mediums. I’ve been working on a grilled pork recipe with red chile marinade and originally put it over polenta with fresh corn, but then I thought, why not throw some green chiles in instead?
Polenta is a tricky one. Depending on what kind you get, cooking could take 45 minutes, or it could take 10. It could take three cups of water per cup of polenta, but it’s usually more like five. Do yourself a favor and read the package. I’ve also noticed changes in cooking time based on the amount you’re making. When I made just a 1/2 cup, it took about 15 minutes, when I did the full cup, closer to 25. This cheesy green chile polenta makes a great side dish for grilled chicken, would be fantastic with a fried egg on top or just eaten straight out of the pan in front of the TV. No judgment.
Chile roasting events continue this weekend in locations across the country. Check out Melissa’s Produce’s list, or make sure you pick up some propane along with that case of chiles.
Cheesy Green Chile PolentaPrint Recipe
- 1 c. medium grind polenta (we used Bob's Red Mill)
- 5 c. water (+ up to 1 c. to achieve desired consistency)
- 2 T. butter
- 1 c. grated Beecher's Flagship cheese (or extra sharp white cheddar)
- 6 Hatch chiles, roasted, seeded, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 t. kosher salt
Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the polenta and bring back to a boil. Continue stirring and turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a flat bottomed wooden spoon, then add the chiles and salt.
Continue cooking for another 15 minutes. The polenta should thicken and lighten slightly in color. Grains will still be visible. Taste it to ensure the polenta is cooked.
Stir in the butter and cheese. If the polenta is thicker than you'd like, gradually add up to 1 additional cup of water to achieve desired consistency.