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Polenta Grilled Cheese

Polenta Grilled Cheese

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A fun new appetizer idea that is a twist on an old classic.MORE+LESS-

Updated November 11, 2014


cups stone ground cornmeal


slices mozzarella cheese

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  • 1

    Bring the stock to a simmer with a little black pepper. Whisk in the cornmeal and lower heat. Cook for about 10 minutes on low whisking almost constantly. Taste to make sure it is salty enough and not gritty. Spread onto an 8x10 baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Top with more parchment and press down to make it even. Put it into the fridge overnight.

  • 2

    Remove your polenta from the fridge and get it out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut the polenta into 8 pieces. Load up half of the pieces with the cheese, basil, and red pepper, and put the other halves on top to build the sandwiches.

  • 3

    On a medium high heat, grill the sandwiches for about 5 minutes a side. When it is time to flip, make sure to get a nice clean scrape from the bottom because the browned layer likes to fall off.

  • 4

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut your sandwiches into nice little triangles before serving.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Try these Polenta Grilled Cheese sammies for your next party!

    I’m always trying to come up with fun new apps for parties, especially around the holiday season. My go-to is usually crostini, but recently a few of my friends stopped eating wheat.

    So, I played around a bit with polenta to get a nice firm bready texture from it – and I think I’m on to something!

    I recently used this bready polenta for some Mini Polenta Grilled Cheeses. To make them extra festive, I put some basil and roasted red pepper in there for the red and green color I love this time of year.

    Make these for your next party, whether people are gluten free or not, and no one will be disappointed!

    To get started, whisk the cornmeal into chicken stock and cook it until it is very thick. You can just spread this out onto a baking sheet and let it chill overnight.


    The next day it's nice and firm. Top with cheese, basil, and roasted peppers.

    Hot grill for a few minutes a side.

    Nice and browned.

    Cut them into nice small triangles.

    Then line them up onto a plate!

    Dan Whalen ate one too many of these little sandwiches. He has been blogging for over 5 years at The Food in My Beard. Check Dan's Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!

One big benefit of precooked, tubed polenta is how well it stays together after it's been sliced. This makes grilled polenta an unexpected but delicious side dish. Simply slice the polenta into 1/2-inch rounds, brush each slice with olive oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Set the grill to medium-high heat, and then grill the rounds for five to seven minutes on each side, or until the polenta is golden brown. Polenta can also be cubed and added to skewers as part of a kebab.

Store-bought croutons have nothing on these little polenta gems. Cube the precooked polenta, and season it to your liking. That might mean just salt and pepper, or it could include dried oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. You can either pan-fry or bake the polenta cubes until they are crispy. Chill the polenta croutons, and then use them to top a salad.

What is Creamy Polenta Made of?

Simple ingredients for this polenta, and it is completely gluten-free also by using pure cornmeal products. If you omit the cream cheese or use a substitute, it has moved from vegetarian to vegan too!

*If you only have stone-ground cornmeal, you can pulse ½ cup in a food processor until it is a very fine texture, rather than using the 1/2 of cornmeal flour.

Chef Gordon Ramsay Grilled Polenta with Tomatoes and Goat’s Curd

Chef Gordon Ramsay shows us how to prepare a Grilled Polenta With Tomatoes and Goat’s Curd.

Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Grilled Polenta with Tomatoes and Goat’s Curd

What Is Polenta?

Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal that was historically made from other grains. It may be served as a hot porridge, or it may be allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf that can be baked, fried, or grilled. The dish is associated with Northern and Central Italy, Savoy in France, Switzerland, and Romania. It is also common in Brazilian regions that received Italian immigrants.

The variety of cereal used is usually yellow maize, but buckwheat, white maize, or mixtures thereof may be used. Coarse grinds make a firm, coarse polenta finer grinds make a creamy, soft polenta. Polenta is a staple of Northern Italian cuisine (and, to a lesser extent, a Central Italian one, e.g. Tuscany) and its consumption was traditionally associated with lower classes, as in times past cornmeal mush was an essential food in their everyday nutrition.

As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier forms of grain mush (known as puls or pulmentum in Latin that were commonly eaten since Roman times. Before the introduction of corn (maize) from America in the 16th century, polenta was made from starchy ingredients like farro (wheat), chestnut flour, millet, spelt (wheat), and chickpeas.

Latin polenta covered any hulled and crushed grain, especially barley-meal, and is derived from the Latin pollen for “fine flour”, which shares a root with pulvis, meaning “dust”. Source: Wikipedia

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For the polenta ‘toast’:

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 cup vegetable stock
  • 4 pieces sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped or minced
  • 2 heaped tsp. Pesto (I use basil based)

For the grilled cheese:

  • 220g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 ball mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (it reduces the cooking time in the grill)
  • A tbsp. of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 small clove of garlic, halved
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil

First we prepare the polenta bring the stock to boil in a medium saucepan, turn the heat down to medium low, slowly stream down the polenta and stir constantly to make sure no lumps are formed. Cook the polenta for about 15 to 20 minutes or according to package instructions. Once cooked, remove from heat and stir in the sun dried tomatoes and pesto until well combined. Transfer the polenta to a glass container or small baking dish (I use a 11x24cm dish, it doesn’t really matter, you can make any shape ‘sandwich’ you like!), set aside and cool so it will firm up.

Prepare the mushrooms: Heat a splash of olive oil in a small pan then add garlic and mushrooms. Fry for about 2 minutes until the mushrooms are golden brown, season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, then discard the garlic.

When the polenta is cool and firm enough to be cut (about an hour, but you can always make the polenta well ahead, just bring it back to room temperature before grilling), cut the polenta in small slabs, thick as normal toast bread and lay them on a baking sheet or baking tray. Layer the cooked mushrooms on the polenta slabs, then layer the cheese on top. Drizzle a little bit olive oil on top of each piece.

Grill the polenta cheese sandwich for about 8-10 minutes in the oven, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Now transfer immediately to a serving plate and eat while warm.

  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Grill Mates® Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning
  • 1 roll (18 ounces) ready-to-eat polenta, sliced into 12 (1/2-inch thick) slices
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese (chèvre) or ricotta cheese

Key Products

Easy Grilled Polenta with Fresh Mozzarella and Balsamic Tomatoes

A super-easy appetizer or side dish! Packaged polenta is grilled (or broiled), topped with creamy mozzarella, and heaped with balsamic tomatoes and basil.

This Recipe Is: Vegetarian Gluten Free

Even though the official first day of summer isn’t for a few more days, Father’s Day always (always!) seems like summer. Mother’s Day is definitely spring, but Father’s Day is totally summer.

It just begs for games of wiffle ball and badminton. And grilling.

There must be a grill involved.

When we bought our current home (which is our forever home … because moving makes me nuts!), my husband made me a deal. I got to pick out the washer and dryer that I wanted, and he got to pick out the grill he wanted. Seemed fair enough to me!

Polenta is very easy to slice. Simply cut the log of polenta in half, then into quarters. Each quarter is then sliced in half and then into quarters again, so you have 16 equal-sized rounds.

And boy, does he love that grill. (And yes, I do love my washer and dryer … what little girl ever dreamed that she’d grow up to say that. )

But he looooves that grill.

He likes to cook (and is really good at it!), but he excels at grilling.

Anytime I suggest something on the grill, my sweet hubby is so thrilled to make it. He jumps at the chance to try new recipes. No fear.

But let’s be honest here, friends. It’s Dad’s special day … does he really want to spend the day prepping a meal and sides? No way! And since we’re all being so honest here … you don’t really feel like doing that, either. Am I right?

So how about a super-easy, super-summery, super-delicious recipe? One that comes together in about 4.3478 minutes flat (a rough estimate). One that’s an amazing appetizer or side for any meal, or (as Shelley and I have already found!) can be a nice, light lunch. One that will WOW! anyone who tastes it. One that uses the grill, but only for a few minutes (because you need to keep your spot in the badminton game!).

Warm, lightly grilled polenta, topped with melty, creamy mozzarella, then sprinkled with sweet tomatoes in a delightful balsamic dressing with fresh basil. It’s totally amazing.

And should the rain come pouring down unexpectedly … no worries! These cheesy polenta bites are just as great prepared under the broiler as they are on the grill! (But sorry – the broiler’s not gonna help with your soggy badminton game.)

So if you’re entertaining this weekend, (or any weekend, for that matter!) be sure to whip this up. You’ll be the envy of your friends (who’ll never guess these schwanky little bites took just minutes). Plus, your husband won’t need to spend all day tending the grill, and everyone can have a fun game of wiffle ball with the fam … ’cause this polenta is absolutely a home run!

Looking for Some More Great Recipes to Grill Up for Dad? Check Out Our:

How To Reheat: simply add the desired amount of polenta back into a medium-size pot over low heat and add in about a 1/2 cup of warm chicken stock. You may need more chicken stock.

Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 1 day ahead of time.

How To Store: Store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I prefer to use medium ground cornmeal to make the creamy polenta because I like it to be a bit more grainy.

In my personal opinion, I think onions, butter, and cheese is the perfect addition to a basic recipe.

It is ok to sub unsalted butter for olive oil when cooking the onions.

You can substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock or even just water when cooking the polenta.

If you wanted to kick it up, even more, you could caramelize up some mushrooms or root vegetables during this cooking stage as well. The point I’m trying to get at is that this creamy polenta recipe is malleable, customize is it to your tastebuds!

Watch the video: Maisbrot - Polenta - Palenta Rezept - Any Blum - Serie #83 (June 2022).


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