Delicious when dusted with a smoked herb salt or dipped in a garlic aioli, these baked polenta fries are a wonderfully crisp side.
Originally these ricotta and polenta fries were going to be, well, fried. In fact I started to do so, but I was creating a bit of a mess. Plus the polenta chips were soaking up far more oil than my brain and hips felt comfortable with.
A light bulb moment occurred as I was scraping, prodding and trying to flip a chip that was falling apart and looking pretty inedible. Why aren’t I baking these babies instead of frying them?
There is far less mess in the oven. No hot oil to deal with and associated cleaning up. You know, those splatters that cover not only you but the stove and half the kitchen.
The result, wonderfully crunchy polenta fries. The time spent chilling the polenta mixture in the fridge, ensures the fries hold their shape while baking, resulting in a beautiful golden hue and a satisfying crunch.
I served them on this occasion with a simple to make smoked sage salt. But they could just as well be served with a dip of garlic aioli.
How to Make Baked Polenta Fries
1. Prepare the Polenta Mixture
- Line the pan: Line a rectangular brownie tin with plastic wrap.
- Boil the stock: In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil.
- Cook the polenta: Add the polenta to the boiling stock and reduce the heat to a simmer. Continuously stir the mixture until the polenta is cooked through, and all the stock has been absorbed.
- Add remaining ingredients: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan, ricotta, butter, and chopped rosemary.
- Set the polenta: Leave the mixture to cool slightly and then transfer it to the prepared tin. Smooth out the mixture evenly. Place plastic wrap over the top of the polenta mixture and smooth well with your hands. Place the tin in the refrigerator for a few hours until chilled and set. For best results, leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Prepare the Polenta Fries
- Preheat the oven: When you are ready to cook the fries, preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C).
- Cut the polenta: Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the polenta and carefully turn it out in one piece onto a chopping board. Remove the rest of the plastic wrap. Cut the polenta into 2 cm square fingers/chips.
3. Bake the Polenta Fries
- Bake the fries: Place the polenta fries on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until they are golden and crunchy.
4. Prepare the Smoked Sage Salt
- Combine the ingredients: While the polenta fries are baking, make the smoked sage salt by combining the smoked salt, sea salt, and finely chopped sage in a bowl.
- Serve the fries: When the fries are ready, remove them from the oven and serve immediately with the smoked sage salt sprinkled on top.
Food is a passion, not only eating but developing recipes with uniqueness and wow factor. Travel and photography fall a close second to food. A gifted recipe developer and food photographer. My blog, Belly Rumbles, was created to share my love of these things with willing readers. The ones that can put up with my rambling babble.