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Rachael Ray: Just in Time
Yes, your kids will eat this ... if you don't eat it all first. This one is dedicated to Dr. Phil, who loves to eat meat right out of the skillet!
Serves 4


• 1 tablespoon EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), once around the pan
• 1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock
• 2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
• 2 bacon slices, chopped
• 3/4 pound ground beef
• 3/4 pound ground pork
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 small red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
• 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 tablespoon chili powder, a palmful
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2/3 palmful
• Pinch of ground cinnamon
• Salt and black pepper
• 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
• 2 cups quick-cooking polenta
• A handful of fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
• 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese



Preheat the broiler to high and place the oven rack 1 rung beneath the highest level of your oven.

In a large skillet, heat the EVOO over medium-high to high heat. Combine the chicken stock and milk or half-in-half in a pot to bring to a boil over medium heat.

Add the bacon to the hot EVOO and cook for 2 minutes or until crisp, then add the ground meats, raise the heat to high, and cook until they are browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic and season with the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes to soften the vegetables, then stir in the tomato sauce and heat through, 1 minute more.

While the meat cooks, whisk the polenta into the simmering stock and milk. Stir for 5 minutes, or until the polenta is thick and masses together in the pot. Fold in the cilantro or parsley. Use a rubber spatula to spread the polenta over the meat mixture and top with the cheese. Place the skillet under the hot broiler to brown the cheese and set the polenta, about 1 minute. Serve directly from the skillet.


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