Spicy pulled pork over polenta only sounds like a culture clash. It oozes comfort and makes more sense than you might think.
Polenta, made from cornmeal, isn't far removed from the corn tortillas and chips that partner so nicely with the Mexican flavors used to season the pulled pork.
To keep this dish convenient, the soft polenta is made from a prepared variety sold in tubes. Chopped and simmered with milk, this polenta quickly softens. Alternatively, you could skip the simmering step and instead oil and grill slices of the polenta.
The pork is seasoned with bottled barbecue sauce and drained salsa. If you want to infuse even more flavor, consider adding bay leaves, fennel seeds, garlic cloves and whole black peppercorns to the cooking water.
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Pulled pork on soft polenta
1-pound pork loin, cut into 3- to 4-inch sections
16-ounce tube prepared polenta
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup grated manchego cheese
1 tablespoon minced jarred jalapeño pepper slices
1 cup spicy barbecue sauce
1 cup salsa, drained
1/2 cup lightly crushed tortilla chips (optional)
Bring large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pork. Boil 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, in medium saucepan over medium heat, combine polenta and milk. Heat, mashing and stirring polenta until smooth and creamy. Add additional milk if needed to reach a smooth consistency. Stir in cheese and jalapeños. Cover and set aside.
When pork is ready, remove it from water. Discard water and seasonings. Use forks or your fingers to pull pork apart into strands, then return meat to pot.
Add barbecue sauce and salsa to pork. Heat over medium-low until warm.
To serve, spoon polenta onto each plate, then top with pulled pork. Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips, if using.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 722 calories, 14 g. fat, 99 mg. cholesterol, 103 g. carbohydrates, 41 g. protein, 10 g. fiber, 1,566 mg. sodium.