Polenta is a kind of cornmeal mush or porridge, popular in Italy. There you’d have it in the place of pasta, served in a pool, with a tomato sauce over, or sautéed mushrooms. When rolled in a little additional cornmeal and shallow-fried in hot oil, polenta “fries” come out perfectly crispy on the outside, but warm and gooey on the inside. It’s kind of amazing how creamy the polenta is, without the addition of either butter or cream. You can serve whatever dipping sauce you like with these, a marinara would be nice, though something creamy would be even better!
Polenta Fries Made With Aquafaba [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 cup water or vegetable stock
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (unsweetened, and unflavored)
- 1/4 cup aquafaba
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal (divided)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vegan butter
- Oil for frying
- Dipping sauce of your choice
- In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock and the salt to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and slowly add the corn flour, a little at a time, whisking continuously. It’s important to do this so you don’t get lumps. You could also sift the cornflour into the vegetable stock if you like.
- Now add 1/4 cup of cornmeal, using the same method. The polenta will quickly thicken and get very “bloopy.”
- Remove from heat and stir in vegan butter. Set aside for a moment while you prepare the pan.
- Lightly oil an 8x8-inch cake pan. Spread the polenta into the pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Place in the fridge to set overnight.
- The next day, remove from the fridge and carefully flip upside down onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice into “fries.”
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and wait for the old to begin o shimmer to know it’s hot enough.
- While the oil is heating add the remaining 1/4 cup of cornmeal to a shadow dish, and toss the polenta fries in it to coat.
- Cook the fries in the hot oil, being sure to flip them until the are crispy and browned on the edges. Drain on paper towel, hit them with a little extra sea salt, and serve hot with your favorite dip.