I am a huge fan of fries. I can never resist them and can’t just have one. Fries are a comfort food and remind me of my childhood. So if you are like me, you will surely enjoy this recipe for Parmesan polenta fries.
This was actually my first time cooking with cornmeal and was not really familiar with the taste. I knew that the texture would be gritty because of the southern American dish, grits that is made from this cornflour. Other than that, I had no knowledge or experience with this ingredient.
I found out that cornmeal by itself tastes very bland. A good amount of seasoning is definitely required to bring out the corn flavor but even then, it still tastes very plain. So to make the dish more interesting and tasty, I decided to add half a cup of Parmesan Cheese to the recipe. That turned out to be a good move since the fries tasted wonderful, along with the flavors of lemon zest and herbs.
I did make a mistake of leaving the fries in the oven for too long. I did this intentionally to try to make them as crispy as possible but I may have dried them out a bit. These fries should be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Mine were a tad bit too crunchy. Nonetheless, the flavors were wonderful and still quite addicting. It went quite well with the garlic mayo dip that I paired it with but I imagine that it would also go well with a tomato based dip, salsa or even soup. I will definitely make this recipe again and probably serve it at a dinner party for friends. I’m sure it’ll be a hit. ☺
Parmesan Polenta Fries
- 1 cup coarse polenta,
- 1 cup of water,
- 2 cups of milk,
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup of chopped herb of your choice (I used basil and rosemary)
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz. butter (optional)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
Finely chop herbs and set aside. Get the zest and juice of one lemon. Set aside.
In a saucepan, bring the water and the milk to a boil, add polenta stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and let polenta simmer gently, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir every few minutes to make sure polenta does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the herb paste, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese and salt & pepper to taste.
Cover a cookie-sheet with parchment paper. Pour the polenta on to the paper and spread out with a spatula. Let cool down for about 5 minutes, then transfer to the fridge and leave to cool for an hour. (I prefer to let it set overnight)
Preheat your oven to 450ºF.
Place the polenta on a flat surface and cut it in strips, about 1.5 inches (3.81 centimetres) wide. Try to dry and reuse the parchment paper (if possible), or put a new piece of parchment paper on the cookie-sheets.
Place the polenta strips on the sheet and spray with Extra Virgin olive oil.
Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown, turn once after 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.
Garlic Mayo Dip
- 1/4 c. japanese mayonnaise
- 1 garlic glove, minced
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- dash of hot sauce and worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- herbs are optional
Mix all ingredients and serve with fries.
* Click here for the inspiration of this recipe.