Polenta with Fresh Corn and Ancho Chiles

We grew ancho peppers for the first time this year and were certainly glad we did. They are great anywhere you would use a bell pepper but I love them paired with corn too — in corn pudding, polenta, quesadillas and more.  We roasted, peeled and seeded lots for the freezer too.

Serves 4

1 ancho pepper (or more to taste)

1 c. slow-cooking polenta

3/4 t. salt

1 c. raw or cooked corn kernels

Additional water, or chicken or vegetable stock or milk or coconut milk

1 T. butter, at room temperature (optional)

Roast ancho pepper over flames from gas stove or charcoal grill or under broiler, until skin blisters and blackens.  Turn to char all sides. This goes quickly. Cool pepper a bit and then scrape off skin, remove seeds and top and discard. Chop pepper(s) into ¼-inch cubes.

Bring 4 c. water to boil in medium saucepan. Add salt and then add polenta in a thin stream, whisking as you add.  Simmer over lowest heat stirring frequently for 30 minutes. If you wish to be less attentive, you may set saucepan inside a pan of simmering water. After 30 minutes polenta will be quite thick. Add corn kernels and cook a few minutes. You may need more liquid depending on how much moisture corn releases. If so, add liquid of your choice in small increments. Cook until polenta loses its raw taste, after about 45 minutes in total. Add salt if needed. Serve immediately or keep warm until serving time with saucepan set inside pan of simmering water. Top with butter pat if using.