Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We Have a Winner

Behold the glory that is polenta fries.
As I said, polenta was a new one for me, and even though I know it's only corn, a mush-like bowl of the stuff just didn't sound appealing. But polenta fries? Now that sounds like a winner! The recipe we used is this one for baked polenta fries, from 101 Cookbooks. We also referred to Crumby Icing's take on the recipe using the very same polenta from Castle Valley Mill.

Can you tell how happy I was to finally be making these?

The first step of the recipe is to cook the polenta to a thick consistancy so it can be spread out on a baking sheet. The recipe warned that it could take a while for the polenta to reach this stage. It didn't take ours too long, thank goodness, because it requires constant stirring (and I was starving).

Here's another look at the consistancy you want. It almost gets to be like a yeast dough, kind of stiff but springy. Notice how it's in a bowl now instead of a pot? That's because we forgot...

...the cheese. Just in case you are as absentminded as we are, please note that it didn't hurt it any to scrape it back up off the baking sheet to mix in the cheese!

Okay, we're back on track, the cheese is mixed in, and it's time to spread it out. You want it to be about a half inch thick. Gerry was grooving on his spatula, but I helped out with my bare hands once it cooled off.

Ger was determined not to have any raggedy edges! He cut off the jagged edges and used them to fill in where the dough looked a little thin. I'm calling it "dough." I guess it's dough, sort of. At this point, you put the whole baking sheet into the fridge for about an hour. That may be the most difficult part of the process: finding room in the refrigerator!

Okay, don't laugh. Yes, we used a quilting ruler to cut our fries. Maybe I've been nagging Gerry a little too much about being more neat and precise when he cooks!

Careful, Gerry, careful.

Ah, but look at them. Aren't they lovely?
HINT: Even though you are brushing them with oil or butter, you might want to work on a sheet of parchment. We thought we did a good job coating them, but they stuck to the sheet quite a bit. I think our fries ended up in the oven for about 28 minutes, which is a bit more than the recipe called for.
This idea is a keeper, however, we both think they could use a little something else if you aren't planning to serve them with some sort of dipping sauce. Crumby Icing suggested adding rosemary to the mix. I think any herbs would be good or maybe crab seasoning. Gerry is campaigning for more cheese!


Paula Jo @ Outdoor Garden Decor said...

They really look yummy, and Gerry done a great job of cutting them. You both did a super job, and dipping sauce might be just the right thing to add more flavor is needed.

Darling Petunia said...

Thanks, Paula Jo, we had fun making them! Using the ruler was maybe a bit overkill, but it was good for a laugh!

glaucia said...

You can cook the polenta in a crock pot, then you don't have to stir...and adding rosemary or any other herb is a good idea. Did you guys add any salt? As a dip, you can have heated marinara sauce or even a tapenade or pesto. Polenta rocks!