Prickly Pear BBQ Pork Loin topped with Leek Straws on Smoky Cheddar Cheese Polenta Wedge

(serves 4)

4 Pork loin chops (4 oz. each)
Prickly pear BBQ sauce (recipe below)
Polenta wedge (recipe below)
Leek straws (recipe below)


  1. Lightly coat pork loin chops in prickly pear BBQ sauce and grill.
  2. Heat polenta wedge on chargrill until hot.
  3. Place polenta on plate and lean pork cutlet up against it.
  4. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. BBQ sauce across plate and serve
  5. Top with a pinch of leek straws and serve.

Prickly Pear BBQ Sauce:
½ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. prickly pear syrup
1 ½ Tbsp. agave syrup
2 tsp. molasses
1 tsp. cajun spice
½ tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

BBQ Sauce Directions:

Mix all ingredients well.

Smokey Cheddar Polenta Wedge:
1 ½ cup water
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. liquid smoke
½ cup polenta cornmeal
1 ½ oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Polenta Directions:

  1. In heavy bottomed sauce pot bring water, salt and liquid smoke to a boil.
  2. Add polenta and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted.
  5. Pour into 4” x 8” loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Top with plastic wrap and press firmly to form.
  6. Let cool thoroughly.
  7. Slice into 4 portions and grill.

Leek Straws:

1 leek (use first 3 ½ inches - the white part)

1 cup canola oil

Leek Straw Directions:

  1. Slice leek in half length wise.
  2. Rinse and dry well with paper towels.
  3. Slice into strips as thin as you can slice them — or thinner! (Make sure they are separated from each other.)
  4. Heat 1 cup canola oil in heavy bottomed sauce pot to 350 degrees (use a thermometer to measure — this is very important!)
  5. Sprinkle leek straws into hot oil and cook until light golden brown in color.
  6. Remove all of them with small strainer and set on paper towels to drain.

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