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Cheesy Grilled Polenta with Summer Ragout



Grilling season is upon us. A typical backyard grill may see 1 or 2 different types of animal at one time (my record is 4) or perhaps several forms of pork simultaneously. There is certainly nothing wrong with this picture, but don't be afraid to go beyond the burger. Grilled polenta is a great way to keep the fare light for summer time. Not to mention, it's the perfect excuse to enjoy some Redneck Cheddar and a cold beer!

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup milk
1 cup cornmeal
4 oz Redneck Cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Vegetable oil

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 pinch salt, or to taste
1 pinch ground cumin, or to taste
1 pinch chile powder, or to taste
1 can roasted green chilies, drained
1 zucchini, sliced
1 can stewed whole tomatoes in sauce
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz Pure Luck Chevre

* Yields 4 servings

Heat butter and olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic, red pepper, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the cumin, vegetable stock, half-and-half, and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly add the cornmeal, while whisking constantly. Cook over low heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and stir in the cheddar. Pour into a greased glass pan (about 9x13), smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm and cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Prepare grill by bringing to high heat and oil the grates very well with vegetable oil. Cut the chilled polenta into squares or triangles. Place polenta on grill and cook for 2 - 3 minutes on each side.

For Ragout: heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in medium pot, add onion and bell pepper. Season veggies with salt, cumin and chile powder and cook until tender. Slice zucchini in 1/4 inch circles and add to pot, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add green chilies and tomatoes. Squeeze whole tomatoes by hand if desired. Lastly add black beans and allow to cook for 10 - 15 minutes to combine flavors. Serve on top of grilled polenta and garnish with crumbled chevre.

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