Grilled Polenta and Veggie Chili

Grilled Polenta, aka OMG Are You Serious?

As you know, it is eat-through-the-fridge-and-freezer week here in the Epic Organic house. Once upon a time, I was browsing the organic section of my local grocer (Jewel, if you must know), and I came upon a tube of polenta.

Polenta, in a tube.

Kind of like a sausage. But made of corn.

I bought it.

Had no clue what I would do with it, but hey. It was corn mush. In a tube.

And there it sat in my fridge, next to the pickles, and behind the peanut butter and jelly… until yesterday.

While digging through my freezer, I came upon some homemade chili I’d stashed way back when. Suddenly, polenta in a tube sounded appetizing!

Sometime recently I read somewhere about grilled polenta. I suspect it was in an issue of Vegetarian Times, but don’t quote me on that. What better time than the present to slap some mush from a tube onto the ol’ grill?

I cut 1/2″ slices of polenta and grilled them on my Griddler, just over medium heat, for about 7 minutes.

While I waited for the chili to heat up, I tried a piece of the grilled polenta. My immediate thought:

“Oh crap. How much damage am I gonna do if I eat the whole tube?”

I didn’t eat the whole tube, but yeah. It was that good. I liken grilled polenta to giant waffle fries, but tastier. Chewy on the outside, warm and mushy on the inside. Dipped in ranch? Yes, please! Dipped in ketchup? Sure!

How about dipped in chili?

Grilled Polenta and Veggie Chili

Grilled Polenta and Veggie Chili

Tres good, my friends.

Flatlander Chili

Chili is a big hit amongst my family and friends. My dad was the chili master. He used to joke that he would take his chili recipe to the grave… well, we thought he was joking, but doggone it, he wasn’t! A few of us will forever shake our fists at the sky when remembering Bob’s chili.

There’s no way I could replicate my dad’s chili, but I decided to try to find a recipe that at least reminds me of his chili and pays a little homage to the chili tradition he left behind. His recipe was a little sweet, a little spicy, and very flavorful. I came across a recipe on AllRecipes.com and modified it a bit. The result: a delicious chili that is pretty darn close to what my dad used to make. Read on for my secrets!