Grilled Polenta with Spicy Steak

Grilled polenta disks and spicy flank steak combines for a satisfying meal. Served with fresh avocado slices, queso fresco, salsa, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Grilled Plenta with Spicy Steak

Don’t close down your grill yet! Just because summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean that grill season is as well. In fact for many people fall is the prime time to grill because it’s football season. Grilling in the fall makes more sense anyway because who wants to stand over a hot grill when it’s 90 degrees outside? Good thing grilling doesn’t usually take very long. This recipe is a quick griller and even though it may not look like a lot on your plate it is surprisingly filling. The grilled polenta disks do the trick.

Then after you’ve satisfied your food cravings, check out some brain food. In case you haven’t been stalking PubMed like I have, my second paper hit the interwebs! Hopefully it’ll advance into print quicker than my first paper but the important thing is that I can change the status of that paper on my resume, at last! Having things published makes me feel like a smarty pants.

Two years ago: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Popcorn

Three years ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatball Subs


Serves 4


1 lb. flank steak, trimmed

4 tsp canola oil, divided

3/4 tsp salt, divided

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 (18 oz.) tube polenta, cut into 8 slices

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled queso fresco

1/2 cup salsa

Lime wedges


  1. Heat a grill pan (or grill) over medium-high heat. Rub 1 teaspoon of oil over all sides of the steak. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, chile powder, and pepper. Rub evenly over steak.
  2. Cook steak 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
  3. While steak rests, brush remaining 1 tablespoon oil over both sides of polenta slices. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
  4. Arrange 2 polenta slices on each of 4 plates and divide avocado evenly among servings. Top each serving with steak, cilantro, queso fresco, and salsa. Serve with lime wedges.

Source: Cooking Light, June 2010

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4 Responses to “Grilled Polenta with Spicy Steak”

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE grilled polenta, I feel like it’s so sophisticated and elegant without being over fancy!! And that steak rub sounds dreamy!!

  • Susan:

    I tried reading the abstract of your paper, and my brain short-circuited (I’m sure I’d get some of it if I took more time…) I can’t imagine being that smart. 🙂 Biochemistry/microbiology, whatever it is you do is just amazing. I hope the paper is published quickly. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy your recipes, starting with this one.

    • spiffycookie:

      Hahaha thanks Susan! I don’t think you are alone when it comes to reading that. I know my own family didn’t really understand what I did until they came to my dissertation defense last year!

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