I know what’ you’re thinking. You’re thinking that fries have taken over my kitchen blog. And you are absolutely right! I’ve been craving these little golden gems like crazy these days so I’ve been experimenting with different kinds of fries. Monday was all about sweet potato fries (you can read the post here) but today, the spotlight is on polenta fries. Yes, you read that correctly, polenta made into fries. Divine!
One of the reasons fries have my heart is because they can be a very nourishing side dish or snack and they’re fun to eat, whether you’re a toddler or a grown up. Everyone loves fries. You can dress’em up any way you like, whether you’re the typical ketchup dipper or you wanna go fancy and dip them in guacamole or a spicy roasted red pepper sauce. We served them with the lather for dinner last night.
Actually, I shouldn’t say “we”, I should say my husband. Yup, that’s right, my husband made these for me for my birthday yesterday. He served them as an appetizer and if he hadn’t told me there was a main course coming after (fried tofu with sweet & spicy Asian inspired sauce over jasmine rice! That’ll be Friday’s post), I would have eaten the entire plate myself. Full disclosure, I did sneak the leftover fries with the red pepper sauce in my lunch bag because these fries were the bomb and make amazing leftovers!
The making of polenta fries is quite simple actually, although it does require a few steps. But please don’t shy away from this recipe just because of the multiple steps. They are totally worth it! And they don’t take much active time at all to make. Most of it is resting time where you can do other things. Time is precious my friends, remember Monday’s post!
The first step for these polenta fries is to actually cook the polenta, which takes no time at all. For these fries, my husband used a medium grain cornmeal. It’s the cornmeal I always have on hand because I find it gives just enough texture without being too grainy.
Once the polenta is cooked, just transfer it to a baking dish, covered in parchment paper, and spread it evenly. I recommended a 9X13 inch baking dish so the fries are long and lean. If you want chubbier fries, you can use a 9X9 baking dish instead but you’ll need to adjust your baking time and add a few extra minutes. After it’s cooked, the polenta needs to set in the refrigerator. If you can let them rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, that’s ideal.
Once the polenta is cool and set, cut into fry-like shape and pop them in the oven for 30 minutes (15 minutes each side – I also like to broil them for the last 1 min of each side to give the fries that golden crispy texture). Your polenta fries will come out of the oven.
Now before I give you the recipe for these beautifully golden and crispy fries, you know I’m going to share another mindfulness concept with you guys. And it actually has everything to do with an important step of making these fries: the resting time.
Just like polenta needs time to set to become beautiful fries, you also need time to “set” to become the best possible you. What I mean by that is this: you most likely lead a very busy life: you juggle a job, and maybe even 2 or 3 jobs; you take care of your children, a spouse, an elderly parent or your in-laws, maybe you foster animals; you take care of your home, do the laundry, dishes, meal prep, lunches for the next day; you try to keep everybody fed and clothes and clean and functioning. Everything you are, everything you have, everything you do, you give freely to everyone around you. But what about you? When do you have time for you? Where is the “setting” time for yourself in your day?
To continue reading on time “setting” for yourself, please join me here.
If you want to get to the recipe first before reading the mindfulness post, just scroll on down my friend.
Hope you guys enjoy these fries.
Don’t forget to click on the recipe title and leave me a comment at the bottom of the post to let me know what you served these delicious polenta fries with.
- 3 Cups of water
- 1 vegetable broth cube
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1/2 tsp dry rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dry sage
- 1/4 Cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Cup medium size cornmeal
- 2 Tbs vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
- Preheat the oven at 425 degrees.
- Line a 9X13 baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the vegetable broth cube and herbs. Stir.
- Whisk in the cornmeal, nutritional yeast and vegan butter.
- Reduce the heat to medium.
- Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon so the polenta doesn’t clump up.
- The polenta will be ready when it starts pulling from the sides, after about 15 minutes of cooking.
- Pour the polenta in the baking dish and spread evenly. Set aside.
- When cool enough, put in the fridge for 30 minutes, to set.
- Once the polenta has set, cut into stick shapes.
- Spray a baking sheet with oil and arrange the fries so they’re not too crowded on the sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes on each side, with the last minute on broil.
- Serve with your choice of dipping sauce.