Smoked tomato pimento cheese polenta. I think I’ve whispered those words 20 days since I made this dish, smiling and remembering. Without a doubt, this was one of the best tasting sides I’ve ever had. Just a hint of smokiness from the smoked tomatoes and tons of cheesy creaminess. And polenta, my favorite thing no matter what it is mixed with. This makes a big huge batch of polenta, but you’ll find you won’t have any trouble making it disappear. This is a fantastic recipe, one we’ll be making time and time again.
I like my polenta very creamy and a little on the thin side. As opposed to thick and dense. You can cook your smoked tomato pimento cheese polenta a little longer than I did if you want yours thicker. If you get it too thick, stir in a bit more cream to thin it. When reheating polenta I stir in a bit more cream to get it back to it’s original wonderfully creamy state.
I prefer to use fruit or nut woods when I smoke unless I want a heavier smoke flavor. Pecan, apple or cherry are my favorites.
Also try my smoked grits and my hot Italian sausage with fresh corn polenta.
Smoked Tomato Pimento Cheese Polenta
- 4 large tomatoes
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups polenta or stone ground grits
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 cups pimento cheese I used our Easy Pimento Cheese recipe
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fire up your smoker for 250 F. Use a light fruit wood such as apple or peach.
- Use a knife to cut a small slit in the bottom of each tomato and place on the smoker, step side down.
- Smoke for 1 hour or until tender. Remove and let cool.
- Rough chop the tomatoes, removing any hard pieces or stems, and place into a blender or food processor and puree. Add to a large pot over medium high heat.
- Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the polenta. Reduce heat to a simmer and keep stirring until the liquid has boiled away.
- Stir in the cream and pimento cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted.
- Season with salt and pepper and let simmer until the polenta reaches the desired thickness.
Nutritional values are approximate.