Posted by: Hil | October 27, 2009

Spicy Polenta Chili Casserole


Leftovers are the mother of invention, and the sparse contents of my fridge inspired this yummy, comforting casserole.  I bought a log of polenta for one of my dinners this weekend and found myself wondering what to do with the leftovers.  I have no idea how long polenta keeps in the fridge, so I thought it best to use it up as quickly as possible.  So I sliced the polenta into rounds, which I placed in a layer over the bottom of a casserole dish.  I then spread the last, thick remnants of the previous week’s homemade black bean chili over the top, shook on some hot sauce and covered the whole thing with cheese.  I used mostly part-skim mozzarella, which is my favorite gooey, melty cheese, and added a touch of extra sharp white cheddar for flavor.  Queso fresco would probably be a fun variant as well.  I wish I’d had cilantro on hand, but I only had flat leaf parsley in the fridge, so I used some of that as a garnish.  I baked the whole thing at 350 until it was melty and hot and served with extra hot sauce for good measure. 


Soft, savory, spicy, comforting and very filling.  It was a great quick dinner that I would definitely make again.  Even the Lemonator, who is frequently skeptical of polenta, thought it was tasty.  As an added bonus, it was also extremely cheap and vegetarian. 


The Lemonator and I had a very full weekend which involved a symposium put on by one of my legal journals and the wedding of one of the Lemonator’s colleagues.  The wedding was a lot of fun:  period dancing, open bar, and plenty of food.  The bride and her family made all of the decorations themselves, as well as the bride’s period wedding gown.


I was impressed.


One wall at the wedding was decorated with wedding photos of friends and family, which was a fun.


To our surprise, the Lemonator and I made it onto the wall…apparently someone found a shot of us that was one facebook and printed it out.


The wedding gave me an excuse to buy a cute new dress and to dance with the Lemonator, and I got to chat with a teenage cousin of the bride who was thinking of law as a possible career, so I consider the evening a success.




  1. Cute pictures! I love polenta so the casserole sounds great. Oh, and the leftovers will keep for about a week.

  2. Thanks, Lu–I’d been wondering!

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