I have the fondest memories of polenta fries at Loie Fuller’s in Providence, Rhode Island (home). I often used to go to Loie Fuller’s for dinner with my parents. It was non pretentious yet elegant and hearty cuisine at its best. The polenta fries were crispy and perfect, served with a delicious aioli. In hopes of recreating that experience I decided to make polenta fries at home. I’ll admit they weren’t the most fun to make. Who would have thought these simple looking concoctions would be so temperamental. I had to handle them ever so delicately, more like macarons rather than fries. In the end it worked out and the taste was almost as good as I remembered from Loie Fuller’s.
2 cups corn grits or cornmeal
4 cups milk (I used 2 cups low-fat and 2 cups whole milk)
3 tbs butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
1/4 cup your favorite crumbled goat cheese (I used greek)
1/2 cup of sunflower oil
sea salt for finishing
In a heavy pot bring the milk and butter to a slight boil. Once it boils lower the heat immediately and gradually add the corn grits whisking all along. Keep whisking until combined. The mixture will bubble up so be careful! Switch to a flat wooden spoon and keep stirring the polenta until it starts pulling away from the sides (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from the heat and add in the salt and cheeses and combine.
Transfer the polenta onto a greased baking sheet and spread evenly till flat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about one hour until cool. Once cool, cut thick fries out of the polenta sheet. Mine were about 1 inch wide. Place the cut polenta fries onto a another baking sheet and drizzle generously with sea salt and oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 450F/232C for 20 minutes, turning over at the 10 minute mark. This is where you need to be very careful. Many of my fries split in half because they were still so soft. Handle each turning very delicately, a flat spatula will help.
Serve with an aioli or dipping sauce of your choice. Enjoy.