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Polenta with Queso Fresco and Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Recipe from Weber’s On the Grill: Steak & Sides by Jamie Purviance

Serves: 4
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooling time: 2 hours
Way to grill: direct and indirect medium heat (350° to 450°F)
Grilling time: 18 to 22 minutes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
4 cups whole milk
1 cup polenta
1 teaspoon prepared chili powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

2 slices yellow onion, each about 1/2 inch thick
4 tomatillos, about 1/2 pound total, papery skins removed, rinsed
1 small poblano chile, 3 to 4 inches long
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces queso fresco cheese, crumbled
1 ripe Hass avocado

Weber Gas Grill Recipe Polenta and Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk, polenta, chili powder, and salt; whisk to blend. Whisk often until the mixture begins to boil. Turn the heat to very low and stir with a wooden spoon almost constantly to prevent splattering or burning. Cook and stir until the polenta is very thick and no longer gritty to bite, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Brush the inside of an 8-inch square pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Scrape the hot polenta into the pan and spread into a smooth, even layer. Let cool at room temperature for 2 hours. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat.

3. Brush the onion slices, tomatillos, and chile with oil. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the vegetables over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the onions are lightly charred, the tomatillos soften and begin to collapse, and the chile is slightly softened and lightly charred, turning as needed. The onions will take 8 to 10 minutes, the tomatillos about 10 minutes, and the chile, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the grill as they are done. Place the chile in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. When the chile is cool enough to handle, pull off and discard the skin, stem, and seeds. Put the vegetables, the cilantro, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor or blender. Whirl until evenly pureed. Add more brown sugar and salt to taste.

5. Invert the pan of polenta onto a cutting board, tapping to release the polenta if necessary. Cut the polenta into 4 to 8 pieces of whatever size and shape you like.

6. Set the pieces of polenta, smooth and oiled side down, over indirect medium heat. Carefully pile the crumbed cheese on top of each piece. Grill, with the lid closed, until the polenta is warm and the cheese begins to melt, 8 to 10 minutes, without turning. While the polenta is on the grill, peel and thinly slice the avocado.

7. Transfer the polenta to serving plates. Spoon the tomatillo sauce over the polenta and top with avocado slices.