Santa Fe Chili served over Smoky Polenta

If preparing for the crazy holiday season ahead has got you in a tizzy and you can’t find time to eat much less cook, have no fear! Executive Chef Martin Thomas is here to pull you from your holiday frenzy with one if his all-time family-favorites. So, slip on your aprons and set your timers – it’s going to be dinner in no time!

This recipe, Santa Fe Chili served over Smoky Polenta, is the perfect dish to warm you up during this season and is sure to satisfy all your guests! There may be a lot of ingredients, but it is a very simple recipe to follow, so don’t let the long list scare you off!!!


  • 1 cup Onions, diced

  • 2 Tablespoons Oil

  • 5 cloves of Garlic, minced

  • 1.5 lbs. of Thin Beef Sirloin or Round Steak cut in 1/2 inch strips

  • 2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder

  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin Seed

  • 1 teaspoon Paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric

  • 16 oz. diced Tomatoes in Juice

  • 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste

  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder, unsweetened

  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses

  • 16 oz. White Corn Hominy

  • 7 Cups of Water

  • 2 Cups Yellow Cornmeal

  • 1/2 Cups Butter

  • 1-2 Tablespoons Canned Chipotle Chiles, pureed

  • Salt

  • Grated Jack or Cheddar Cheese

  • Scallions, minced

  • Sour Cream

Smoky Polenta Directions:

  1. Combine water and cornmeal in a saucepan, cook over low heat, stirring often until thick and smooth (20-30 minutes).

  2. Stir in butter, chipotle puree, and salt.

  3. Serve polenta hot right out of the pot, or pour into buttered baking dish to allow to cool down. Cut polenta into diamonds or squares and, if cooled, broil or sauté in butter until warm.

Santa Fe Chili Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil on high heat. Add thinly cut beef and brown thoroughly. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are browned.

  2. Add the dry spices, diced tomato, tomato paste, cocoa, molasses, vinegar and 2 cups of water or broth, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

  3. Add corn hominy and cook until sauce has slightly thickened.

To serve, add salt and pepper to the chili, serve over warm smoky polenta, and garnish with grated cheese, scallions, and sour cream, and most importantly, ENJOY!