Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recipe #18 - Sides - Grilled Garlic Blue Cheese Polenta

Greetings! This is a recipe I have done dozens of times. Polenta is a terrific side dish. In and of itself, has very little flavor, but it accepts flavor really well. Almost anything can be added. I have used several different cheeses, I have combined it with leftover rib, brisket or pulled pork meat (adding BBQ sauce on top, makes it really POP).

But, for this night (this was my starch for Herme's Birthday dinner Click HERE to see the entire menu). I was going to use Blue cheese to make a sauce for the meat, so, being cheap is the true mother of invention, I wanted to use up some terrific Stilton Blue Cheese I had bought. So, that was the inspiration for the dish, here's the specifics...

As you can see above, I had a 9 X 13 dish, i coated it well with some spray canola oil. I took my hunk of cheese, and crumbled up just 2 ounces. The Stilton is a very powerful cheese. It is overpowering if used too heavy. When I made the cheese sauce, I did use too much, and no one enjoyed the sauce. But, this was a huge success...

OK, crumble the cheese up and evenly distribute around the bottom. And, yes, I am spending a year on the grill, and this can easily be done on a grill. Polenta is best served fresh, but can be made several hours in advance without losing any of it's taste...

Here's the recipe for a basic polenta...
1 quart whole milk (recipe does not work well with 2%, use whole only)
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 and 1/2 cups of corn meal
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Combine the milk, butter, salt and sugar in a skillet, and bring to slow boil.

Once the soup is boiling, slowly add the corn meal. Stir constantly to get all the lumps out. I add the corn meal just 1/3 cup at a time, and do not add more until all the lumps are gone. Once all the corn meal is in, continue to cook until it forms up to the consistency of soft play dough. Carefully add to the casserole dish with the blue cheese. You have to add without sliding it around in order to keep the cheese evenly distributed. It does not pour (too thick), so this is the hard part of the recipe.

Once it is spread evenly, sprinkle the garlic evenly across the top.

Needs no refrigeration, it is ready...just that easy. this could easily be served as is.


Add some PANACHE to the dish. I use cookie cutters and cut out 8 circles. Just prior to serving, place on a hot grill (top side down, so the bottom with the blue cheese is top side up), turned to medium high heat. It takes about 4 minutes to get terrific grill marks, and get the top (the blue cheese) to heat up. Flip onto a serving plate, without grilling the side with the cheese (just grill one side). Final touch is to sprinkle with the paprika...

Very easy, spectacular looking and great tasting give it a try!


  1. Beautiful! This is gorgeous and I bet it tastes spectacular, too.

  2. Did I leave that out...Indeed, it tasted FABULOUS. the blue cheese really set it apart. Highly recommend giving this one a try

  3. What a perfect and flexible side dish. The cookie cutter treatment is a nice touch (although I guess using the dinosaur shaped pancake mold that we have would probably be over the top? ha ha).

    There are so many ways to do this. If you didn't have the blue cheese and needed to pair some new flavor, I can imagine placing it in a light pool of a sauce or oh wait....

    Top it with a grilled fillet mignon. Wow, you have got my mind going now. I'm definitely going to try this!

  4. Hi Dave! This looks fabulous and I will definitely try this recipe! We're practically neighbors - I live in Independence, MO! You might enjoy my Rosemary-Beer marinade at The Faithful Foodie. My son and son-in-law love it. Sue aka The Faithful Foodie

  5. Stilton... I've never developed a liking for it. I bought it once for my dad because he is always complaining that regular cheese isn't stinky enough for him. And he said the same thing about Stilton. When I told the lady at the grocery store that my dad wanted something stinkier than Stilton, she suggested I put the Stilton in a used sweat sock and let it sit for a week!!

  6. I adore bleu cheese of any sort...and I love Polenta. I use cookie cutters for mine, too! I like it in both savory and sweet versions...which I am now craving. I make a sweet one w/ pine nuts and sugar and mascarpone...mmmmm! I think I will have to try yours next time...mouth is watering!