Damn Hot Polenta Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups fine grind polenta
- 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
- 1/3 cup finely sliced scallion greens
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, preferably gray salt
- 4 extra large eggs, whisked
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter, melted, plus more to cover if not serving immediately
- 1/2 cup Damn Hot Peppers, recipe follows
- Hot sauce, to taste
- Damn Hot Peppers Alla Padella:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound green bell peppers, halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 jalapenos, cut into 1/8-inch slices
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, preferably gray salt, more if needed
- 1 cup fresh tomato puree (peel, seed, and puree 1 pound ripe tomatoes in a food processor)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Generously butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish; set aside. In a large bowl, stir the flour, polenta, cheese, scallions, sugar, baking powder, baking, soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula just until blended; do not over-mix.
Add 3/4 cup Damn Hot Peppers and then stir in hot sauce, to taste. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and level it with a rubber spatula. Bake until the bread is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Cool briefly and then cut into squares and serve warm. If not serving immediately, cover with more melted butter to keep moist overnight.Damn Hot Peppers Alla Padella:
In a non-reactive saucepan, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the bell peppers, jalapenos and sea salt. Cook over medium high heat for about 15 minutes or until the peppers are partially tender. Stir the bottom from time to time, adjusting the heat as necessary so that they don't brown. There will still be some liquid left in the pot.
Add the tomatoes, lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, to reduce the tomato juice and finish cooking the peppers. Add additional salt, if needed. Add to batter as directed.
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello