Friday, June 8, 2012

Polenta Fries

It was my birthday. Babies were sleeping. Husband that does not like polenta was gone on a work trip. I was hungry but did not feel like cooking. There was a pack of pre-made polenta in the fridge. All the stars were aligned. I decided to go ahead and give myself the best birthday gift ever: 

Polenta Fries - crunchy and creamy pieces of heaven! Here is what I do to fry the crunchiest polenta fries.

I use this packed premade polenta, not only for the convenience, but also for the texture. That is a firm polenta - perfect for deep frying. Alternatively, you can make polenta from scratch the day before (make it a firm polenta) and let it set in the refrigerator overnight.

I cut the polenta into sticks and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Then I put some corn starch in a large freezer bag. Add the polenta sticks to the bag, seal it, and shake it around until all polenta sticks are coated with corn starch. Next, I transfer polenta to a sieve and hit it against the kitchen sink to remove excess corn starch. All you need is a thin layer of corn starch to create a crunchy crust on the polenta sticks.

This photo was taken before I shook off the excess corn starch.

Deep fry until golden.

Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil. Top polenta with Parmesan cheese or any other cheese you love and serve it while still hot. The best is to eat the firs as they they are done. If they seat around for too long they start to loose the crunch effect!

Crunchy on the outside, creamy in the inside:

Polenta Fries

1 pound (1 package) precooked polenta
1/3 cup corn starch
canola oil for deep frying
shaved Parmesan cheese to taste (or any other cheese, grated or shaved)

Line a large plate with paper towels and set it aside. Fill 1/3 of a sauce pan with canola oil and heat it over medium heat. While oil heats up, cut precooked polenta into sticks (just like french fries) and pat it dry with a paper towel.

Put the cornstarch inside a large freezer bag. Add the polenta to the bag, seal it, and shake it around until all the polenta sticks are coated in cornstarch. Transfer polenta to a sieve. Gently hit the sieve against the kitchen sink to shake off excess corn starch.

When oil is hot enough for deep frying*, fry the polenta sticks, 4 to 5 at a time, until deep golden in color. Do not overcrowd the pot when deep frying. Transfer cooked polenta to the plate lined with paper towel to drain access oil.

Place fried polenta on a serving platter and top with a generous amount of your favorite cheese. Serve immediately.

*to test if oil is ready for deep frying without a thermometer , drop a small piece of bred in the hot oil. Oil is ready when the piece of bread sinks to the bottom of the pan, immediately starts to bubble and then comes up to the surface.

1 comment:

  1. Love polenta! I still haven't perfected these fries, but I might try soon!


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