J-BAR-H Jalapeno Cheese Polenta

This polenta is one of my favorites and works nicely with my JBARH KINKY FRIEDMAN BRISKET.  He doesn’t know we call it that, but I am certain he’d be proud of it.



  • Olive oil to sauté
  • 2 cups chopped onions, mixed
  • 1-2 jalapeños minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp coarse ground pepper
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1.5 cups coarse cornmeal
  • 1 cup cheddar or pepperjack cheese


  • Heat a 2 quart saucepan (I use a cast iron “chicken fryer”) over medium high heat.  Once it is hot add a tablespoon or so of olive oil.  If it immediately spreads out and starts looking wavy you are ready to cook.
  • Add the onions and peppers and sauté until the just start to take on a bit of color.
  • Add the stock, milk, salt & pepper & butter and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat a little until the liquid rolls down to a simmer
  • Whisk the cornmeal in gradually until it is all incorporated.
  • Once the cornmeal is incorporated, continue to stir slowly with a wooden spoon until it begins to turn thick & creamy, about 10 minutes.  (There has been much debate over whether or not the kind of spoon makes a difference in the finished product and without a doubt, you will get a creamier, better tasting polenta with a wooden spoon.)
  • Remove from heat and stir in cheese until incorporated.
  • ALTERNATE METHOD: Once cornmeal has been incorporated, cover and move the pan to a 350 degree oven.  Give it a stir every 10 minutes or so until it’s thick and creamy, about 20-30 minutes.
  •  Serve immediately or move to a wide, flat container, lined in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

This recipe makes 8-10 servings.

Polenta is AMAZING when refrigerated, sliced and sautéed in butter the next day.  CLICK HERE for my JBARH EGGS BENEDICT recipe using sauteed polenta cakes as the base.