When John makes polenta he starts with 1/2 cup polenta and just under 3 cups of salted water, two bay leaves, and two cloves of garlic. He cooks it, stirring, for 15 minutes. After discarding the bay leaves he stirs in two teaspoons of butter. This makes a fairly loose polenta which is what we like. You might like to make yours tighter or add some cheese.
In the meantime I drained and rinsed a can of black beans. I added the beans to some onion, garlic, and spicy chiles that I had sautéed with cumin and chipotle powder. Adding some vegetable stock makes the beans saucy. They just need heating through and near the end of cooking I added some cilantro.
We split the polenta and beans between our two low bowls and garnished with avocado, radishes, and cilantro. This was our first time making this. The original recipe is on the NYTimes Cooking site under the name, Cheese Grits with Saucy Black Beans, Avocado, and Radish. Of course we lowered the fat and adjusted the portion size. It turned quite tasty but next time we will add more crunch.
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