Polenta fries – gluten free, dairy free, clean, vegan & vegetarian.
Feel like eating home made fries but sick of peeling potatoes? Well put that peeler away now and get creative with my Polenta Fries recipe. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these fries use less elbow grease and make a nice change.
Fries have always been the ultimate in cheap and easy comfort food for me. As a teen living in Coffs Harbour, I used to buy a small box of thick cut fries slathered with rich gravy from the local plaza. I’m sure it was the catalyst for shopping in the first place, and with my meagre weekly wage, I could always afford fries even if it only meant window shopping.
When I moved to Sydney, I worked in a burger shop in Cronulla which meant access to fries doused in a thick sprinkle of chicken salt and BBQ sauce. This was my staple for 3 years straight.
Nowadays I keep my chip splurge to a minimum and prefer home cooked when I have the time. I’ve made sweet potato chips which are challenging to bring to crispy status, however it wasn’t until my sister Sandra came over for a visit from NZ that we tried polenta chips. They were a hit!
I like to use a quick cooking (instant) polenta that’s organic and guaranteed to be free from GMOs. To give flavour to your chips, it’s best to cook the polenta in either a vegetable stock or chicken stock (for non vegans). I’ve added extra flavour with some garlic powder and dried herbs. You will find that chicken stock gives a deeper flavour than vegetable stock.
Make sure you have enough uncooked polenta left over to coat the fries as this gives them a crispy outer texture and gives a little more structure.
How you cook these babies is up to you. If you’re in a multi tasking mood you can bake them whilst doing chores/watching a movie etc. Otherwise you can shallow fry them in a large pan which is what I prefer. What you’re left is with a crispy chip on the outside with a soft centre. You will need to treat your polenta fries gently however, especially if they are thin and long. Otherwise, feel free to cut them into shorter, thicker chips. Using a spatula to flip with care will keep them intact until both sides are cooked. I felt the overall texture is better with the pan frying method as both sides have the opportunity to be coated in oil thus resulting in a all-over perfect crispiness. The baking method gives a slightly drier mouth feel.
If you want to keep it light, these baked polenta fries taste delicious with my Easy Peasy Tomato Sauce recipe or you can drizzle over some pesto. However, I believe they cry out for something thicker like an aioli, especially a spicy one! Perfect to keep you warm during Winter.
Just a final note: As these chips start to cool, they become easier to handle and more sturdy.
With love & gratitude,
Why this is so good for you
Corn (organic/non GMO) supports the growth of friendly bacteria in the large intestine thus improving digestive health, alleviates constipation, reduces risk of colon cancer, reduces risk of diabetes, lowers hypertension, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps prevent anemia.
- 1 cup organic instant polenta + up to 1/2 cup extra for dusting
- 1 litre gluten free organic stock (vegetable or chicken)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried chives or dried parsley (or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of choice)
- Cook polenta according to packet directions then transfer mixture to a baking paper lined tray with enough baking paper hanging over the edge for easy removal. Cool then chill till firm.
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Remove polenta from tray and brush with olive oil. Slice into desired thickness and dust all over with the extra polenta.
- Arrange on a large greased flat baking tray or 2 smaller trays in a single layer. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until crisp. Alternatively you can shallow fry them in a large frying pan, in batches. You will need to flip gently with a spatula until all sides are cooked; and keep cooked chips warming in the oven on a low heat.
- Serve with tomato sauce, pesto or aioli.