March 1, 2011

Polenta Fries (healthier alternative to Potato Fries)

In my attempt to keep on a vaguelly healthy path I've been eager to find as many healthy recipes as I can. I found this recipe for Polenta Fries through Not Quite Nigella and was excited to try them. I liked the fact they were so much like normal fries, yet apparently healthier! She used a Gorgonzola dipping sauce with hers, which sounds amazing, but I thought I'd try to be a little bit good and refrained myself from making the sauce too.
I haven't had much experience using polenta in my cooking, but I found it was easy to work with. The recipe was a little time consuming - an hour wait for the polenta to sit in the fridge - but really really easy. So if you're happy to wait the hour it takes before you can cook the chips then go ahead. It's well worth it.
In a saucepan I heated the milk, stock and salt until it was nearly boiling. I actually have a confession to make here - when I went to get the ingredients, I didn't have a list with me - there was only a couple of things I needed so why would I need a list?! Well because I thought that I needed chicken stock....when the recipe said vegetable stock. It didn't matter, the recipe still turned out tasting really nice, but I'm curious to see what the difference would have been if I had of added vegetable stock. I'm not sure if there would have been a big difference.....
Anyway, to the milk/stock mixture I added the polenta (make sure you add it in almost a stream - not all at once) and whisked while it was cooking. You'll have to look at the back of the packet to see how long your type of polenta takes to cook - mine took a few minutes. You can tell it's ready when it becomes very thick and comes away from the wall of the saucepan. Once the polenta was cooked I added in the grated cheese and stirred.
I then removed the polenta from the heat and added it to my prepared baking dish. I had this already greased with butter. Once I had the mixture spread out flat in the dish, I cooled it in the fridge for an hour. According to Not Quite Nigella you can leave the tray of polenta in the fridge overnight if you wish, which is good if you want to prepare these in advance.
After an hour, the mixture had set very well and I was able to remove it from the fridge. It came out onto my cutting board very easily and I then cut the polenta into strips to look like chips. I then placed these on a prepared baking tray onto which I'd placed baking paper and sprayed them with a little bit of olive oil.
These then went into the oven (preheated at 220 degrees Celcius) for 25 minutes. I think I could have left them in the oven a little bit longer to get more brown and crispy bits, but I couldn't wait any longer to try them!
And the outcome? Delicious! They looked like fries, but tasted different, however I still really liked them. My Dad was also a big fan - he came back for seconds. I will have to make them again in the future, if only to see if they taste any different with the vegetable stock.

Recipe Source: Not Quite Nigella


  1. These Polenta fries are the best!!! Yummo pity we can't have them more often as they do take time to prepare.Worth the wait though.

  2. You never know ;) I might make them again soon. Actually no scratch that...I will be making them again soon. They were so good.


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