Strange brew – that’s what I will tell people when they ask how’s the weather in L.A. These past few weeks I have woke up to heavy fog that runs the lenth of the city, not just in Santa Monica, which is known for its early morning “marine layer” as Angeleans refer to it. And the evenings quickly take on a chill once the sun sets. So this skillet of beans, polenta and tomato sauce really hits the spot when I want something warm and comforting.
If you have leftover prepared polenta, this comes together lickety-split! Queso fresca is the fresh cheese use in lots of Mexican style dishes and is usually sold in neighborhood bodegas or in the gourmet aisle of cheeses. Similar to feta but not as salty, it melts nicely without becoming too gooey. Substitute a mix of feta and goat cheese if you can’t find it.
Skillet Black Bean and Polenta Casserole
15 oz can prepared black beans (or 1 1/2 cups prepared beans)
1 pint tomato sauce
8 oz queso fresca
prepared polenta, cut through the middle to create 1/4 in thick slices
10 oil cured black olives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine beans and tomato sauce in bowl. In skillet that can be baked (or a round pan) arrange polenta slices on the bottom, spoon half of tomato-bean sauce on top, crumble half of the queso fresca, add another layer of polenta slices, remainder of tomato-bean sauce and the rest of the queso fresca. Top with chopped olives if desired and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and cheese is browned.
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