Friday, November 11, 2011

Polenta Fries

Happy Friday!  I'm home from work this morning with a sick boy so I thought I'd post a recipe for polenta fries that I've been meaning to do for a good month!  Polenta was a staple in my parents diet's growing up and my  Mom continued the trend with us.  When my Dad was a kid back in Italy polenta was often served at the breakfast table as well as at dinner.  My Nonna would make a big batch and spread it out on a baking sheet.  Once it was set she cut it into strips and grilled it until crisp.  The next morning she would cut it up and serve it with warm milk.  A typical meal for lean times.  Although we never ate it for breakfast, we did eat lots of it! Mom served it mostly as a base for stews and cacciatore's.  Every now and again she would grill the leftovers on the BBQ which was my favourite way to eat it.

Before I get started on my "story" here's how to make a basic batch:

  • 1 cup of liquid (I usually use 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1/4 cup dry polenta
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring liquid and butter to a gentle boil
  2. Turn down heat and slowly whisk polenta in
  3. Stir, stir, stir until thick, about 5ish-mins (this is important or it will get lumpy on you)
  4. Stir in cheese until melted
At this point it is ready to serve as a side.  If you're making a batch for fries pour contents onto a greased baking sheet and refrigerate over night or until set.

Not so long ago I found myself with a good portion of leftover polenta.  I decided to chill it in the fridge overnight in a square-ish container that I lightly misted with EVOO.

When it came time for dinner the next day I popped it out of the container on to a cutting board:
I cut it into strips (this is VERY easy to do when the polenta is cold):
While I was doing this I had a pan heating on the stove with approx 3 tbsp of EVOO.  Once that was good and hot a gently set the fries in the pan:
Sorry for the icky picture, but it gets the message across!  :)  I let each side get a crispy layer before turning them over.  This doesn't take very long at all.   I should mention that you don't have to use EVOO.  Whatever oil you have on hand would work perfectly as well as melted butter, coconut oil, coconut butter.  Basically, whatever floats your boat!  :)  Once crispy all over I place the fires on a paper towel covered plate and lighted dust with salt:
DELICIOUS!!!  The kids put these back like it's their job!  Actually, now that I'm looking at these pictures I feel inspired to make more this weekend!  Have you ever had polenta fries??

Enjoy your weekend!  But beofre you do, if you live in Canada PLEASE check out the awesome giveaway that I'm hosting.  **hint hint**  It's for a FREE Kitchen Aid 13 Cup Food Processor!!!!

Bye for now!


  1. I love polenta and this looks so good. I'm sure I'll love it and it's great for finger food for parties! :)

  2. Hope he is feeling better! If not, i bet a batch of these would do the trick!! Amazing!

  3. I've never had polenta fries, but they sound great!!! I've actually only made polenta a few times and not for a long time. It's going on the list!

    Hope he is feeling better!!!

    Have a good weekend!

  4. A perfect use to the left over polenta! :)

  5. Aww, hope your little one is feeling better, Krista!

    These fries look incredible -- I will never wonder what to do with polenta leftovers again!

  6. Love the story of how you've had these through your life :) I think you ordered them at that amazing raw restaurant, too - am I remembering correctly?

  7. I've seen polenta fries on various restaurant menus here, but I don't think I've ever had them. I know how easy polenta is to make, and yet I never do. Pretty sure I will need to try these out sooner rather than later though :)


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