This was one of the first recipes I made with trepidation. They turned out so good, I felt really successful. I’ve made them several times since and we eat them like we used to eat greasy french fries. But, these polenta fries alternative are so much healthier and just as fun to eat!
Prep Time: 40 minutes, plus 2 hrs. fridge time
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup polenta (corn meal)
- 2-3 Tbls. nutritional yeast (optional)
- 2 Tbls. Italian or your favorite seasonings (I like salt-free Spike Natural)
- 1 Tbls. miso paste*
*Miso paste is really flavorful and versatile, but contains lots of sodium. Add it properly to soups and recipes to maintain its flavor integrity: Stir 1-2 Tbls. miso paste into a bowl of ½ cup warm water until it thoroughly dissolves. Then, add that mixture to your recipe. Just make sure you don’t boil the miso because it will lost its integrity.
- Bring the water to a brisk boil over medium-high heat.
- When water reaches a boil, pour the polenta into the boiling water in a steady stream and begin whisking gently.
- Continue whisking. Turn down the heat to low and continue whisking until the polenta has thickened enough just so it doesn’t settle back on the bottom of the pan when you stop stirring.
- Cover the polenta and continue cooking, stirring vigorously every 10 minutes and make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan.
- Cook for a total of 30 minutes, or until the grittiness of the corn meal smoothes out.
- Turn off the heat and add in the nutritional yeast, seasonings and miso*. Stir to mix in well.
- This should fit nicely into a 9 x 13 pan. Spread it evenly, keeping polenta at one-inch thickness.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let cool in fridge for at least 2 hours. When cool, polenta will be stiff to the touch.
- OK, this is the hardest part. After the polenta ‘sets’, you can now slice it into 1/2-inch thick strips lengthwise, then turn the pan and make your slices every 3 inches. If you have a steady hand, use a pizza cutter, but a sharp knife works best. You should end up with approximately 64 polenta pieces ready to be baked!
- Carefully lift the polenta slices out of pan and place on silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake 40 minutes at 350. Halfway thru cooking time, flip the fries over. Turn oven on broil. Keep an eye on them and remove when the edges of the fries begin to brown; usually at the 5-7 minute mark.
Eat those bad boys with a) your favorite dipping sauce, b) a smile and no guilt if you decide not to share!