Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mexican Grilled Polenta Pizza

I mean holy cow.  These "pizzas" are so so good.  They have that great grilled flavor, the polenta crust is crunchy on the bottom, yet somehow still sort of creamy inside, and the veggies - so so good!  This is why I love the blog world and making new recipes.  You find something so fun and inventive like this that I never would have thought of, yet we absolutely loved it.  If its too cold where you are to make these on the grill, I'm positive they would be just as delicious made indoors.  You could roast the veggies or even saute them and bake the crust in the oven as well, no problem.  I am starting to think of fun winter versions of this now with colder weather veggies!

Mexican Grilled Polenta Pizza
adapted slightly via Edible Ash
3 cups water
1 cup polenta grits
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
toppings: red onion, red peppers, zucchini, corn, black beans, taco sauce, smashed avocado, cheddar cheese, etc.

For the polenta: Bring water to boil in a large pot. Slowly stir in the polenta grits and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and place a lid on slightly ajar to avoid spattering. Stir frequently for 25-30 minutes [lid can be removed once spattering stops] until the polenta is very stiff. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the salt + pepper. Taste and add more s/p if needed. *The polenta will seem thickened around 15 minutes but continue to cook the full time. Do not use these instructions for quick-cook polenta.
While cooking, line two, 8-inch round pans with parchment [or wax paper]. Spread half of the polenta in each pan with a silicone spatula being sure to spread evenly, firmly, and all the way to the edge. You want the pizzas 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until fully chilled.
While chilling cook any pizza toppings and set aside until ready to use.

Preheat your grill to 350-375* F [med/med-high]. Grease your grill grates and evenly brush 1-2 teaspoons of oil the top of each polenta crust. Remove from the pan and gently flip onto the grill. Peel the parchment off and close the grill. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until grill marks appear and the edges are golden brown. Lightly oil the other side then carefully flip with a large metal spatula. Grill for about 4 minutes then add toppings (I spread with smashed avocado, then shredded cheese). Close the grill and let cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Carefully remove from the grill and add the remainder of the toppings (veggies and taco sauce in my case), let rest for 2-3 minutes then slice on a cutting board and serve.
notes: Cooking polenta for hot breakfast cereal may only take about 5-10 minutes but when cooking to actually create polenta it takes about 30 minutes until it’s fully ready. It’s important to cook it this long so the pizza crust holds up when grilling. Pizzas can be made 1 night ahead and kept in the fridge overnight. Cover once cooled.
for the toppings: I sliced red onion, red pepper, and zucchini and tossed them in olive oil and taco seasonings.  Then I cooked them on the grill using my grill basket until tender. Then I added frozen (thawed) corn and black beans and tossed together. I set everything aside until ready to top the pizzas.

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