Polenta fries seem like one of those fancy bar snacks that’s not really possible to make at home. But this fun, nutritious dish is actually a snap to prepare! Start with locally sourced polenta, like the beautiful stuff from our friends at Happy Cat Farm, and cook it, stirring often, until it thickens up. Then (and here’s the trick!) smooth it out into a shallow dish and let it set in the fridge for awhile. This helps it achieve a nice consistency, so when you brown it in olive oil and cut it into sticks, it actually resembles fries. The flavor of PA heirloom corn is so good — so much more complex and sweet than conventional cornmeal — that it doesn’t need much to finish it: just a sprinkle of Parmesan, fresh basil and salt. We also can’t get enough of Happy Cat Farm’s incredible Heirloom Tomato Catsup, which is made from over 40 varietals of tomatoes, harvested at the peak of ripeness, in every batch!
Pennsylvania Polenta Fries
|Prep Time||Cook Time||Total Time|
|5 min||90 min||95 min|
- 1 cup Happy Cat Farm heirloom polenta
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Parmesan, to garnish
- Fresh basil, to garnish
- Sea salt, to taste
- Happy Cat Catsup, for dipping
- Bring to boil, slowly pour in the polenta and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick. This can take between 20 and 60 minutes.
- Place polenta into shallow container and smooth out so that it is 1/2” thick.
- Chill for at least 1 half-hour or until it sets, then turn out onto cutting board.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm up the olive oil and cook polenta until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Cut the fried polenta into strips (or “fries”) and sprinkle with Parmesan, basil and salt. Dip in Happy Cat Catsup.
- Photo: Dish Works
- Recipe: Tim Mountz of Happy Cat Farm