Griddled Polenta Cakes with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Honey

By • December 4, 2009 • 80 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite tapas- fried goat cheese with onion jam and honey. It's a sweet little bite of deliciousness. - arielleclementinearielleclementine

Food52 Review: As we tasted this polenta – crisped in a pan and topped with caramelized onions, goat cheese and a sprinkling of honey -- we thought aloud that it would make a great first course. No, a small lunch! Or how about breakfast! We’d happily eat it all day long, and we think you would, too. You can make arielleclementine’s polenta and onions ahead of time, then just crisp the polenta and assemble the dish when you’re ready. - A&MA&M

Serves 8

For the Polenta

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Topping

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced in 1/4" slices
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • honey, to drizzle
  1. Bring the water, milk, and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk in the polenta. Turn heat to low, and continue whisking for 5 minutes, or until polenta is smooth and creamy. Spread the polenta in a 9x9 baking dish, and set aside to cool.
  2. While the polenta is setting up, add the butter and olive oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet set to medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions and a sprinkle of kosher salt, and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, golden, and caramelized- about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into another skillet, set over medium heat. Using a 3" round cookie cutter, cut out circles of the firm polenta, and place in the heated skillet. Cook until slightly browned and crusty on one side, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook the other sides another two minutes.
  4. To assemble the polenta cakes, place on a plate, add one tablespoon of caramelized onions to each cake, top each with about a teaspoon of crumbled goat cheese, and drizzle with honey. Enjoy!
Jump to Comments (80)

Comments (80) Questions (6)

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Stringio

3 months ago Gay Stevens

Made this tonight and it was awesome!! Kicking myself because I got in a hurry to plate it and forgot the honey! Next time! It went beautifully with the roasted quail and the salad with red wine vinaigrette!

Stringio

3 months ago Gay Stevens

Should add that I used carmelized leeks in place of the onions because I had them all sliced in the freezer.

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4 months ago Molly Norton

These were delicious, but I had a problem with the browning of the polenta. I let it sit for a while and it was plenty cool and thick and wonderful, but as soon as I got it on the skillet it started to turn more liquidy again and part of it would stick to the skillet. I used whole milk, I had plenty of butter on the pan... not sure what to do because I love the recipe. After a few, I just gave up and served the cooled, constituted polenta with the toppings (adding mushrooms that I cooked with the onions which was amazing). I am definitely going to try again though because the flavors were amazing.

Henrykiss

4 months ago arielleclementine

oh Molly, I'm sorry to hear that! so i think what happened was the extra butter in the pan- in step 3 I crisped up the polenta with olive oil. maybe butter, and lots of it, served to re-hydrate your polenta. next time a bit of olive oil in a very hot pan should help them to crisp up quickly without softening. thank you so much for trying my recipe!

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5 months ago Chrissy

This may be a silly question, but I am also a polenta novice. When we whisk it into the milk mixture, is it already-made polenta or is it just cornmeal? I feel like polenta is already smooth and creamy once it is made, so is it supposed to become more creamy when added to the milk? Thanks!

Henrykiss

5 months ago arielleclementine

not silly at all! it is just dry cornmeal when you whisk it in- a coarse ground cornmeal that is often labeled "polenta" on the package because it's the kind you use to make creamy polenta. the ground cornmeal will get soft and creamy when cooked in milk.

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6 months ago Erin.Quinn

Made this before and it was great, made it again tonight and the polenta kept sticking to the pan so it never browned because the brown part would stick and pull apart from the rest of the polenta cake. Do you think it could be because I used 2% milk instead of whole?

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6 months ago rob weaver

pan too dry, bit more butter?

Henrykiss

6 months ago arielleclementine

Sorry about that, Erin! I'm with Robweeve on this- the pan probably needed a bit more fat. This is the first recipe I ever wrote, and if I were to write it again today I'd likely griddle the cakes in a mixture of butter and oil, and more like 2-3 tablespoons, not the one I listed here. Also, a good stiff metal spatula will help. Thanks so much for cooking this recipe!

Stringio

9 months ago Ruta

We made this for Christmas dinner. It was so delicious, so easy and so elegant. We also added a rosemary fig confit which we found on Epicurious. I think I might be able to eat this every night.
Adapted from: http://www.epicurious.com...

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11 months ago Lynda

This is very good. I left off the onions and it was still delicious.

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almost 2 years ago Tessiewoo

Check out this polenta recipe...

http://www.youtube.com...

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almost 2 years ago Laurelb

Couldn't find polenta today so had to use the premade roll. It was ok. It not great. Used blue cheese instead of goat cheese which was a nice compliment to the beef dish I was serving. I served it as part of a meal rather than an appetizer

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about 2 years ago ihaventpoisonedyouyet

This was the best, the best, appetizer! Each aspect of it was delicious and my place smelled great. I definitely need a polenta crisping lesson, but that aside, it was easy and delicious. Got to try making this again, maybe make a few as before and a few with a little chicken chorizo and a dash of smoked paprika.

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over 2 years ago culture_connoisseur

This is fabulous! I made it with ricotta instead of goat cheese. There was nothing left on the plate!

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

oh thank you!! love the ricotta twist! i'm making some of Jennie's homemade ricotta this week, so maybe i'll be able to try your variation! thanks for your comment :)

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almost 3 years ago ohioeric

Outstanding! Made these for a dinner party last night and they were a hit!
I used store bought polenta (labeled in the grocery store as "mush") and it couldn't have been easier!

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

oh yay! thanks ohioeric!! i've gone the store bought polentra route too and it worked beautifully. so happy you liked it :)

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almost 3 years ago Brenzo

Awesome...I didn't have goat cheese, so in keeping with the tapas theme, I substituted spicy chorizo sausage. The sweet honey and onions went great with the spicy sausage. Great texture contrast too.
Phenomenal recipe -- thanks so much!!

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

brilliant! i'm a huge chorizo fan- in fact- i just topped some latkes with chorizo! love your idea, and will definitely try it the next time i make these. i'm thrilled you liked the recipe :)

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about 3 years ago Drake Fallah

how long is the total cooking process?

Henrykiss

about 3 years ago arielleclementine

Hmm- about an hour if you multitask and caramelize the onions while the polenta is cooking and firming up.

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about 3 years ago Drake Fallah

how long would you say it takes for the polenta to firm up?

Henrykiss

about 3 years ago arielleclementine

I'd say about 10-20 minutes

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about 3 years ago elisa

I made this as an appetizer for a intimate dinner party and everyone loved it. I thought that it was perfect. The crispiness of the polenta with the caramelized onions and goat cheese was fabulous, but adding the honey as the finishing touch, is genius! It's the element of surprise that brings it over the top! So delicious.

Henrykiss

about 3 years ago arielleclementine

yay elisa! thank you so much- i'm so pleased that you liked it!

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almost 4 years ago enbe

Made this for an appetizer "showcase" party last night and it was a hit! I cut the polenta so I could make it into bite-sized squares. It was definitely not as nice looking as cookie cutters but it did the trick! It was quite easy, too, except for waiting for the polenta to set when I was already running late. I loved the tang of goat cheese paired with the sweet honey on top of the deliciously creamy polenta.
Thanks so much for this recipe!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks, enbe! what a lovely compliment! your party sounds super awesome too :)

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about 4 years ago deepsilver

made this last week........ OMG! so delicious and so easy. thanks for recipe.
btw- so excited I found your site... love love LOVE it!

Henrykiss

about 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh wow! thank you! i'm so happy you liked it! i'll be making a variation of this recipe this weekend, with fried green tomatoes taking the place of the polenta cakes.

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

I made this for my breakfast this morning and it was wonderful! What a treat!

Henrykiss

about 4 years ago arielleclementine

hooray! thanks, nannydeb!

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over 4 years ago Lucia from Madison

Finally made this recipe. Wow it was very good. It was the first time I used honey like that.
http://bit.ly/bb9NSV

Henrykiss

about 4 years ago arielleclementine

this is so fun! thank you for making and blogging about my recipe!

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over 4 years ago lbn

I liked the flavor of this a lot, but my polenta totally did not set up. I wonder what I did wrong? The instructions weren't that complicated. Anyway, I kind of just fried it up anyway even as it melted into the pan. :)

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

hi lbn :) so glad you liked it! sorry your polenta didn't set up- i guess i would recommend following the directions on your polenta packaging, since there are so many varieties. some may need to cook for 20-25 minutes before they get thicker and porridge-y. mine was done after 5, so that's what i wrote in the recipe.

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over 4 years ago lbn

thanks, I'll try that! :) I'm new to polenta.... :)

Barbara_davilman

over 4 years ago DAVILCHICK

I know I'm 6 months late but THIS IS THE BEST APPETIZER EVAH! I make it all the time now for company. It's a fail safe for me. I can carmelize the onions ahead of time so the only time I have to be away from guests is when I heat the polenta. (I buy the ready made and no one cares - much easier for mother). I'm so happy to have found this website. Keep those recipes coming!!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh man!! thank you! i'm so happy you like it! i've also made it with the ready-made log o' polenta and agree that it works out swimmingly. isn't food52 the best? it has been so much fun- i had never made up a recipe before joining it! thanks again for the compliment :)

Dsc_0034

over 4 years ago student epicure

this looks wonderful -- i'm making it tonight! my mom's family is mennonite and for breakfast at our reunions, we always eat fried mush, aka polenta cakes, with tomatoes and maple syrup. i'm excited to try it with the onions, goat cheese, and honey!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh fun! thank you for trying it! wow- fried mush with tomatoes and maple syrup sounds awesome- i will have to try that! (I've never had tomatoes and maple syrup together!). i hope you like this recipe :)

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh man! what a wonderful surprise to come home to! i can't believe it! thank you, thank you :)

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over 4 years ago Muckle

Made this tonight and it was delicious! Used brie instead of goat cheese since that's what I had on hand, and seasoned the onions with a thyme, lavender sea salt mix I had. The polenta didn't fry very well because it wasn't as firm as it should have been, but I'm a polenta novice so I have a feeling I did something wrong. Even so, this recipe really opened up some great polenta ideas for me!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you so much for trying it! and what a fantastic-sounding adaptation! i'm sorry your polenta didn't firm up properly. truth be told, when i'm feeling lazy this goat cheese/caramelized onion/honey trio are almost as delicious piled on crostini :)

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over 4 years ago aaarizpe

Hey, this is arielleclementine's husband. She's going to be so excited when she's finds out that her recipe was picked as a wildcard winner, but she's actually out of the country with no internet access all week (she and helenthenanny took their grandmother on a cruise). Anyway, she'll be back this weekend, and I'm sure she'll be eager to respond to your comments as soon as she returns. Thanks!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks, bunny-face!

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

I ogled this back when you first posted it. So delicious. Do you think I can make the polenta with an alternate milk--like hemp milk?

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you, friend! absolutely! you could even make the polenta entirely with water, and I don't think it would affect the end product too much. will you tell me if you try it with hemp milk? i've never tried that before :)

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over 4 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Yummy! What a great recipe!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you!

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over 4 years ago Allison Cay Parker

Congrats on the Wildcard Win! Much deserved; it's a lovely recipe.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

you're so kind :) thank you!

Monkeys

over 4 years ago monkeymom

Congrats! corn and honey...yum.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

yahoo! thank you!

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over 4 years ago witloof

there are no directions for the olive oil in the polenta part of the recipe. do you add it to the pot or use it to grease the pan?

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

hi there! sorry this was confusing- the olive oil at the end of the ingredient list for the polenta is what you use to fry the polenta cakes after you've cut them out with the biscuit cutter. i hope you like it :)

Mrs._larkin_370

over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Well done, arielleclementine! That is one tasty morsel.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks, mrslarkin!

Ry_400

over 4 years ago melissav

You had my vote way back when. So glad to see this as a Wildcard Winner - a nice reminder that I haven't gotten around to trying it yet which I must do soon!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh, wow! thank you!

Mike

almost 5 years ago Mike Selinker

Those are some yumtastic-sounding griddle cakes.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

This sounds delicious!!! I love crispy polenta! I bet it would be great with gorgonzola too.

Henrykiss

almost 5 years ago arielleclementine

thank you! your gorgonzola idea sounds delightful :)

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almost 5 years ago candaceb

This should be a winner! So easy, with exquisite flavor and texture!

Henrykiss

almost 5 years ago arielleclementine

yay! thanks, candace :)

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almost 5 years ago DianneV

Are you using instant polenta or cornmeal?

Henrykiss

almost 5 years ago arielleclementine

Hi Dianne :) I used Alpina Savoie medium polenta - "corn semolina". I've never used instant polenta, but I would assume that it would work just as well.

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almost 5 years ago Mandolin

This dish reminds me of my trip to Italy. Thanks!

Henrykiss

almost 5 years ago arielleclementine

thank you! my husband and i are planning our first trip there in september- i'm beyond excited.

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almost 5 years ago Lucia from Madison

This recipe is going in my must try file. It gets my vote!

Henrykiss

almost 5 years ago arielleclementine

thank you so much! i sure hope you like it :)

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almost 5 years ago Miss Kitty

You had me at "carmelized onions, goat cheese, and honey."

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almost 5 years ago Molly Bacon

This is an excellent dish! I'd love to see it win!!!

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almost 5 years ago Helenthenanny

They are sooo delicious!! Yahoo and good luck!!

Henrykiss

almost 5 years ago arielleclementine

what fun to be a finalist! thank you!

Merrill

almost 5 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome! It's a great recipe.

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almost 5 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Honey, goat cheese and onions ... well, you had me at HONEY! I will be trying this out for sure!

Henrykiss

almost 5 years ago arielleclementine

haha! thank you! i hope you like it :)

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almost 5 years ago Miss Kitty

I cannot wait to try out this recipe!

Henrykiss

almost 5 years ago arielleclementine

oh, thank you!