Polenta Fries

Serves 6 to 8
Level of Difficulty: Medium
Adapted from the More from ACE Bakery cookbook

These fries are a little fiddly to make, but well worth the effort. If you are making polenta for another dish, consider doubling the recipe so you can have the fries later in the week. It’s important to add the polenta quickly to the water or stock. If you do a slow pour, you will end up with lumps throughout the cornmeal. A nonstick frying pan will give you pale golden fries while a stainless steel or cast iron pan will produce darker ones.

Ingredients

4 cups (1 L) water or chicken stock
½ tsp. (2.5 mL) kosher salt
1¼ cups (250 g) fine cornmeal or polenta
1 cup (240 mL) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
¾ to 1 tsp. (3.75 to 5 mL) fresh minced rosemary
olive oil for greasing pan and frying
sea salt to sprinkle on fries

Instructions

Bring the water or chicken stock to a simmer in a large pot over high heat. Add the salt. Remove from the heat and quickly pour in the cornmeal, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Return the pot to medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pot.

Stir in the cheese and rosemary and spoon the polenta into a lightly greased medium-sized baking dish. Smooth the top with a spatula. The polenta should be ½-inch (1.2-cm) thick.
When the polenta is cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, if you are not going to prepare the fries immediately.

Return the polenta to room temperature an hour before proceeding with the recipe. Flip the polenta out of the dish and onto a cutting board and cut into batons approximately ½ inch × 2½ inches (1.2 cm × 6.25 cm).

Heat a film of olive oil over medium heat if you are using a nonstick frying pan, otherwise add about 1/8 inch (3 mm) of oil. Fry the polenta batons on all four sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and arrange on a serving dish. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving.


Linda Haynes is the co-founder of ACE Bakery and the award-winning author of the bestseller, "The ACE Bakery Cookbook". All royalties from this cookbook are given to organizations in support of food and nutrition programs that assist low-income members of the community, to culinary scholarships, and to organic farming initiatives. Royalties from "More from ACE Bakery" cookbook are donated to organizations that work with women and children in crisis.

Established in 1993, ACE Bakery is now one of North America's leading artisan bakeries, providing fresh and partially baked breads to customers across Canada, New York State, the Midwest and Northeast U.S.A., Louisiana and the Bahamas, as well as on Air Canada and Air France flights.


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