I made my version of Lisa's Seared Ribeye with Tamale Polenta and Avocado Cilantro Salad the other day. When I went to make the dish, I ran into one major problem, but don't worry...all ends well :) The grocery store didn't sell masa flour! I opted to use a regular Italian polenta instead, all the while wondering if I would get that tamale taste without the lye in the flour.
I put that out of my mind and set out to the kitchen. The prep time was literally five minutes (salt and pepper meat, toss a salad, pour the polenta into hot water, grate cheese). Cooking time was also surprisingly fast...the 5 minutes it took to sear my steak was basically it! I used an instant polenta, so while the meat was resting, I quickly made the polenta and mixed in the cheese and salsa (I left the sour cream out and I still thought the end result was creamy). I did not miss the masa flour since the salsa gave the polenta so much flavor. The salad was a nice addition to offset the richness of the polenta and meat. The end result was a delicious, hearty meal that really tasted like a deconstructed tamale.