Creamy, Cheesy Polenta With BBQ

05bPolentaPorkSaladbfLOIf you’re keeping track, you’ll recall that the last time I made polenta, I had to adapt a recipe that had called for quick cooking polenta because I could not find it in any market. The crispity golden polenta cakes were very nice, and the spicy sausage tomato sauce was also quite tasty; but I was still lookin’ for that quick cooking stuff.

Success! I was in what is fast becoming my new favorite market, and there it was, staring at me in the International Foods aisle!

01aPolentabfLOInstant Polenta! Ready in just FIVE minutes! I was good to go with another try.


I’d just made a batch of country style ribs, but with my regular barbecue sauce, and had rather a lot leftover.

02aButterOliveOIlbfLOAnd, I’d made a kinda disappointing buttermilk meatloaf (I must have left out some seasoning, it was just kinda there, you know?) with a barbecue and mustard glaze, which I then turned into a barbecue spaghetti sauce…

Hmmm. creamy, cheesy polenta with pork barbecue was sounding real good.

With ‘shrooms!

Barbecue Pork:
•8 oz ‘shrooms, sliced
•1 tbsp butter
•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
•1 tbsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or your fave hot sauce)
•Boned barbecued country style pork ribs
•1/2 cup barbecue spaghetti sauce*
•1 cup water

•2 cups chicken stock
•1 cup water
•1 cup instant polenta
•1 tsp salt
•2 tbsp butter
•1/4 cup shredded Cheddar
•1 tbsp sour cream

*This was my regular doctored pasta sauce made with rather a lot of barbecue and mustard glazed buttermilk meatloaf added. There are barbecue spaghetti recipes out there, mebbe I’ll try one and post it, or, you could simply thin out your favorite barbecue sauce with the water and proceed.

02bShroomsBowlbfLOFirst thing, sauté your ‘shrooms by melting one tablespoon of butter with one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet or other large pan over medium high heat.

Add the ‘shrooms, Worcestershire, and Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper sauces and sauté until the ‘shrooms are browned and just a little bit crispity at the edges, and most of the cooking liquid has been reduced. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.

03cPorkShroomsbfLOWhisk the barbeque spaghetti sauce together with the water in a two quart covered casserole, then add the chopped, boned barbecue pork.

Cover and heat in a slow (300º) oven, or in the ‘wave until bubbling and warmed through, then stir in the ‘shrooms, cover and keep warm until your polenta is ready.

Which really will take just about five minutes.

04cPolentaButterCheesebfLOBring the chicken stock and water to a boil in a large pot (I used the stir fry pan I’d sautéed the ‘shrooms in), then adjust the heat to low, add the polenta and the salt (don’t worry, I know it looks like a lot of salt, but trust me, you’ll need a bit more at the end to bring out the flavors) and stir for five minutes.

Add the butter, cheese, and sour cream and continue to stir until blended and the butter and cheese are melted.

Give it a taste. Nice, no?

05aPolentaPorkSaladbfLOBut, I thought it could use a bit of freshly ground black pepper and, yes, a bit more salt, so I added both, stirred, and tasted.

Yep. Nice.

We had ours with some home made refried (but not really) black beans and a test run salad and salad dressing for the Thanksgiving Day feast. The beans coulda used a touch more cumin, but the salad (and dressing) were good to go with a few minor adjustments.

Details on both, to come.

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