4 Main Course
or 8 Side Dish Servings
This layered casserole makes a satisfying main or side dish. If it's the main event, add green beans and a tossed salad to the menu. On the side, it makes a great partner to lime-grilled chicken or carne asada. You can assemble and chill it a day before baking.
Butter 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until polenta is tender and thickens, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan.
Pour half of polenta into prepared dish. Cover with half of chiles and half of corn. Sprinkle with half of cilantro and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Drizzle with 1/4 cup cream. Spoon remaining polenta evenly over. Top with remaining chiles, corn, cilantro, and cheese. Pour remaining 1/4 cup cream over.
Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake polenta uncovered until heated through, puffed, and golden brown, about 25 minutes (30 minutes if chilled).
Cornmeal, polenta, grits—what's the difference? Cornmeal is made from ground dried corn kernels and comes in fine, medium, or coarse grinds. Polenta is coarse Italian cornmeal. The word grits originally had more to do with a grind of grain than the grain itself: Grits once were made from corn, oats, or rice. But the grits called for in these recipes are labeled "hominy grits," hominy being dried, hulled corn kernels. Quick-cooking grits are ground into smaller pieces to reduce cooking time.
This page created March 2009
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