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.
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
- 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.
- Remove from heat and add seasonings, cheese, and butter – mix until well incorporated.
- Lightly grease a cookie sheet (one with sides) or jelly roll pan, spread polenta mixture evenly in pan. Smooth top.
- Allow to cool about 30 minutes, transfer to refrigerator and allow to stiffen overnight.
- 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.
- Cut the polenta to desired sized strips. If the mixture falls apart or feels too loose you can coat with a bit more cornmeal.
- 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.
- Serve immediately with a favorite sauce, I chose marinara but you can do a Belgian style mayo as well.