‘Cheddah’ polenta a knock-out side dish with roasted veggies

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

This creamy, cheesy “cheddah” polenta makes a great side dish and is even better with the flavor of roasted vegetables, any way you choose to roast them.

As for  “cheddah,”  live in Maine long enough and it becomes second-nature when the ‘ah’  flows from the brain to the fingertips when I type.


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon each cumin, ginger and red pepper flakes
2 small onions, peeled and halved
2 cups fresh cauliflower florets
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cooked carrot slices
1 cup milk
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and cracked, black pepper to taste

Mix the soy sauce, honey, cumin, ginger and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Add all vegetables, tossing to coat evenly. Let veggies sit in marinade for at least one hour in refrigerator. Heat oven to 450-degrees F. Lift vegetables out with slotted spoon onto a large baking pan, shaking off excess marinade and discarding. Roast 20 minutes while preparing cheddah polenta.

When you have 5 minutes left on the vegetables, prepare polenta. Bring milk and chicken broth to a boil over medium heat. Slowly add the cornmeal in a thin stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt and cracked pepper. Remove vegetables from oven; set aside.

Spoon polenta into servings dishes and top with equal amounts of roasted vegetables.

Enough for 4 people.

NOTE: Here are two ways of enjoying this dish when the weather beckons you to turn on the grill. You can simply put all the vegetables in a couple of tin foil packets and barbecue them over indirect fire until tender. You can also thread vegetables onto skewers and cook over indirect heat. When ready to serve, simply remove from skewers or serve.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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