Super Crunchy Herb Polenta Fries

Extra Crunchy Polenta Fries

I discovered Polenta Fries, a delicious treat, that can be baked instead of fried. Extra crispy on the outside, and a variation of creamy on the inside, these yummy polenta fries can be made completely from scratch vegan or vegetarian with ingredients that replace or include butter and fancy cheese. Gluten free as well, (for those allergic or don’t want gluten).  I introduce you to a recipe that satisfies both.

At first I had no idea what polenta is, what corn meal or grits is and it did not look or sound appetizing. They all seem like bizarre foods. It’s based out of corn and finely milled. It can be a soup, it can be creamy treat accompanied by meat or veggies, it can be baked or fried. I generally love corn foods. Grits is popular in the south, so I eventually tried baked lobster or crab grits in the south which was delicious.

Ideally, I recommend making polenta from scratch instead of buying it frozen, especially because you get to customize the ingredients and shape. You can get fresh dry polenta (they look like granular yellow) at a health foods store or stores in the candy/nuts/grains in bin aisle. These fries are delicious served with creamy sauces.

1 Baking pan with greased foil / baking sheet

2 cups of polenta
5 cups of water
4 tablespoons of chopped garlic (more or less for flavor)
4 tablespoons of
Dashes of grated sea salt
2 tablespoon of grated black pepper
4 tablespoon of basil or oregano
1/2 tablespoon of turmeric
1 tablespoon of garlic powder

3/4 cup Romano cheese (optional)
2 table spoons of canola oil, or 0 if using all Olive oil
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Olive oil for brushing

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients (except for cheese), into a medium pot.
  2. Pour in the water and bring to a boil.
  3. Then lower the temperature to medium low and whisk for about 15 minutes or until when the polenta starts to stick and pull from pot.
  4. Mix in the Romano cheese (optional) and olive oil.
  5. Spread, mold, and smooth the polenta mixture onto a greased baking pan, 1 inch thick.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for a half hour, but if you want to speed it up, put the polenta in the freezer for about 15 minutes until cooled and solidified.
  7. Cut into thick fry shape 4 inches by 1 inch.
  8. Carefully divide the Polenta fries, spacing evenly apart. Be careful that it doesn’t break apart.
  9. Lightly brush each side of the fries with a hint of olive oil.
  10. Pop baking sheet into the pre-heated oven and Broil.
  11. Broil Polenta fries about 20 minutes (or until crispy), and flip over the polenta fries to crisp for another 20 minutes.

Voila! That was easy! Let cool and enjoy. Top with additional fresh seasoning if you wish, (like basil and romano), and dip with your favorite sauces. I personally like spicy japanese mayo or spicy chipotle sauce! I could imagine some Indian spices would be nice too like chutney (vegan too).

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