Baked polenta chips are a healthier option than the common french fry, due to their low fat and high iron content. They are simple to make and have even non-polenta-eating folk hooked. Once a humble peasant food, polenta has emerged as a versatile, fine-dining comfort food. So what exactly is polenta? Quite simply, it’s corn ground into meal then cooked into a traditional porridge. You either love it or hate it, but once you get your head around the fact you do not just have to serve it as a blanket of goo under your food, you can just fall in love with it. The recipe below turned my whole family into polenta fans. Enjoy!
2 litres water (or vege stock for a slightly tastier end product)
1 x 500g packet instant polenta
1 clove garlic
1-2 tablespoons of freshly chopped rosemary
1 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
Sea salt flakes & freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, to grease
1. Bring the water (or stock) to the boil in saucepan over a medium-high heat. Use a whisk to gradually add the polenta in a thin steady stream, whisking constantly until all the polenta is incorporated into the liquid. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes or until mixture thickens and polenta is soft. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan and butter.
2. Pour the polenta evenly over the two baking paper-lined roasting dishes or similar-sized dishes. Cover with on-stick baking paper and use a spatula to smooth the surface. Set aside to cool and firm up in the fridge for an hour or up to 2 days.
3. Turn polenta onto a clean work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut off the curved edges. Cut lengthways into 2cm wide strips. Cut each strip into about 8-10cm long.
4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper and brush lightly with a very thin layer of oil. Place polenta on prepared baking tray in a single layer without pieces touching each other. Bake for 30 minutes and then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes or so.
5. Transfer polenta chips to a serving platter or divide evenly among plates. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Serve immediately with an aioli or homemade tomato sauce.