Polenta Fries

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There’s a chain restaurant in Clifton called Spuntinos. It’s a yummy tapas restaurant and every time I go I make it a point to order their polenta fries. They have a crisp texture on the outside, some nice chew on the inside, and usually seasoned well with herbs and grated cheese.

I decided to try and replicate them at home. I played around Pinterest and most potenta fries “cheated” with tubed polenta. I prefer to make something from scratch.

In pantry project fashion, I assumed I had polenta on hand, but in fact I didn’t. I did, however, have cornmeal. It’s honestly the same thing! My only advice is if you want a smoother texture, pulse the cornmeal in a food processor a few times.

The production was pretty easy, but for best results this should be a two day event so the polenta can set and stiffen.

POLENTA FRIES
1 cup cornmeal
2 cups broth (I used chicken ut veggie works)
1/8 cup chopped parlsey
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried chives
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

  1. Bring broth to a boil, add cornmeal and stir constantly until full incorporated. Reduce heat, cover, and allow to cook about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and add seasonings, cheese, and butter – mix until well incorporated.
  3. Lightly grease a cookie sheet (one with sides) or jelly roll pan, spread polenta mixture evenly in pan. Smooth top.
  4. Allow to cool about 30 minutes, transfer to refrigerator and allow to stiffen overnight.
  5. When ready to fry, heat a generous amount of vegetable oil, about 1-2 inches deep in a heavy bottom pot or skillet (I use cast iron) to 350-375 degrees.
  6. Cut the polenta to desired sized strips. If the mixture falls apart or feels too loose you can coat with a bit more cornmeal.
  7. Fry several pieces at a time (do not overcrowd), turning once, until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain and sprinkle with some hard cheese, like Parmesan, while still warm.
  8. Serve immediately with a favorite sauce, I chose marinara but you can do a Belgian style mayo as well.

   
    
   

Not Cooking With As Much Innovation Lately

chef's journal

The past few weeks at work have been a blur and I found that I am not doing anything particularly exciting in the kitchen, which makes me a little sad because I committed to keeping up with my writing and cooking.

Some highlights of what I have done lately:

  • Breakfast smoothies – almost every morning for protein and vitamins – usually a mix of frozen fruit, almond milk, Greek yogurt, and some sort of berry juice. I bought my Vitamix just over a year ago and use it several times a week
  • Eggrolls – I have done baked steak eggrolls and fried pork eggrolls. I am enjoying frying in my cast iron skillet. An easy and quick dipping sauce is taking store bought duck sauce and thinning it with a bit of Sriracha. It effortlessly elevates the quality and complexity of the sauce
  • Baked Potato Soup – revisiting my old recipe using my new Staub coquette

More inspiration to come soon as I am going to visit London and Paris in less than a month!