Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Raspberry Chipotle Goat Cheese POLENTA with GRILLED ONIONS by Raichlen

Here is a FABULOUS recipe, combining some leftovers, a Steven raichlen recipe and one of my favorite side dishes... Polenta! I have blogged in the past about POLENTA. Polenta is a very underrated side dish that can be flavored any way you like to accent a meal. Back on August 25th, I blogged about a GARLIC BLUE CHEESE POLENTA. I went into a great deal of detail about how to cook polenta on the grill (or inside on a burner). Incredibly easy, but with very little flavor on it's own. But Polenta is wonderful to add whatever flavor you like. Click HERE to go to my previous post about the Blue Cheese garlic Polenta.

One of my most popular posts was my Raspberry Chipotle Marinated Spiral Stuffed Pork Loin with a Bacon Lattice. That was the one with that real pretty bacon lattice. Well, Click HERE for that recipe, but for this post, pay attention to the recipe for the Raspberry Chipotle Marinade. I had a small jar of this left from when I made it last month. I wanted to use it up before it went south on me and I risked poisening my guests. Polenta is a great place for those odd little tasty leftovers that you don't know what to do with.
I made this the same night I made Rack of Lamb and the grilled lettuce i blogged about earlier in the week. Polenta only takes a few minutes to grill, so it was put on last, while I was cutting the lamb.

The procedure for this is simple, go to my old post about Blue Cheese Polenta. Follow all the directions except leave off anything that has to do with Blue Cheese and Garlic. Just make the polenta.

While it is cooling, go to my old post and make a little of the RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE MARINADE (in this case, it will be used as a sauce, but I digress).

And now, I am going to do a review of a Steven Raichlen recipe from his HOW TO GRILL book.

Let me drop in my standard disclaimer about me and recipes...Long time readers of the blog, I am going to start coloring the lettering in the disclaimer, it will be the same for each review, feel free to skip to the standard black colored text...

OK, here's my generic talk about Steven Raichlen and his book...and me... As long time readers know, I am doing my own tribute (rip-off) off the Julie/Julia project, cooking my way through Steven's amazing grill guide, HOW TO GRILL. Unlike Julie, I won't be finishing this in a year, but I will be making an item at least once a week.


This recipe can be found on page 380 of Steven Raichlen's amazing grill guide, HOW TO GRILL. The book includes two pages of detailed instructions, including lots of photographs and a simple easy to follow recipe. Click HERE to go to and read other people's reviews or to order. I just found out they have discounted the price, new copies are available for less than $10 and used copies for less than $6!

OK, on to the recipes. Grilling onions is very easy. You can use a grill grate, or he offers a great tip. Cut the onions in thick slices and put a toothpick through the side. This will hold the rings together during the process and they don't fall apart. he offers another great tip for grilling garlic. Since garlic does not have the water content that onions do, it is important to loosely wrap them in tin foil. Also, run three or four cloves through a toothpick so they are easier to handle on a grill (won't fall through the grates).
Steven also gives a recipe for a honey-balsamic glaze. This is brushed on the onions while they are cooking, and adds a great look and taste to the onions, as well as layering a sweet taste to the bite of the onion. The recipe is reprinted on the Internet, courtesy of the publisher, so i feel comfortable repeating it here---

1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

Place everything in a saucepan, bring to boil. reduce heat and allow to simmer until thicker, about 6-8 minutes.

While the onions are grilling, brush the glaze on them. Grill until nicely brown, 4 to 8 minutes each side. When finished, remove from grill and brush additional glaze, as well as sprinkle pine nuts, chopped parsley and I like to add a little fresh Parmesan cheese.

A great easy recipe that should be in EVERY grillers repertoire. a 5 of a possible 5 recipe!

But wait, I used the glaze for an additional purpose to make the RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE GOAT CHEESE POLENTA...

While the glaze was simmering, I cut a few additional onion slices in half and allowed them to simmer in the sauce pan with the glaze. In little time, they cooked up soft and full of the flavor of the glaze.

OK, I had my onions cooked, I had my Raspberry Chipotle sauce cooked and my polenta was cooked and poured into the 9 X 13 pan. I took a big cookie cutter (use a simple one, circles or flowers. Do not try to use a fancy dinosaur one, the polenta will not hold together well enough on the narrow pieces during grilling). Cut out however many pieces of polenta you are going to serve.

Put the polenta on the grill, spoon on and spread around some of the goat cheese.

Pour a layer of the raspberry chipotle sauce.

top with some of the onions.

After about 3 minutes, turn the polenta same side down 90 degrees to get the pretty cross pattern grill marks.

Wasn't sure which side made the better presentation, the grill marks up or...
The onion side up.

Either way... This is NOW my very favorite polenta recipe. A little time consuming, as you are making the sauce and the onion glaze, but well worth it.

Enjoy and bon appetite


  1. Thanks for stopping by! I thought we were the only griller/smokers aroud town, glad to see a fellow Q King!

  2. I have yet to try polenta -we can only get regular cornmeal here. I would love to try it some day, it looks great with the grill marks!

  3. Oooh, have you tried to make an onion volcano and then lighting it on fire? Teppenyaki restaurants do that, and it's very cool! I had polenta only once and didn't like it because it was dry and tasteless. Your polenta, however, looks great, especially with the sauce on top!

  4. This really does look good. I have a recipe for oven baked polenta that requires no stirring if your interested. I love the adds on and sauce that you are using here. Thanks for sharing.

  5. everything looks so good! I'm sitting here eating lunch and you're making me hungry all over again.

  6. Are you on Steve's payroll? You ought to be! Blue cheese and Captain Crunch works too! With me, blue cheese works every time!

  7. Polenta....aren't those Yankee grits? (ha ha ha , just kidding)

    I'd go with the grill marks, but that's because I'm a sucker for grill marks!

  8. what a fun dish, i love the polenta!

  9. Full of wonderful flavors! Beautifully presented.

  10. I didn't even have to read past the title to know this was going to be good!!!