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Satisfies the craving for fries without actually having to fry anything. These are so easy to make, and are great for making in advance. You can make and cut the polenta in advance, and it's only a 20 minute trip in the oven away from a great snack. This would also work for making squares or circles of polenta to use as a base for an amuse or hors d'oeuvre. Feel free to play around with the liquid- you could try with all water, all chicken broth, add some milk, etc.You could also add cheese and try adding herbs or other flavorings. This is a really easy recipe to customize. And by all means, if you have the time to use real polenta, not instant, be my guest. For this application I have not found that it makes enough of a difference to warrant the effort.
- Follow the directions on your box of polenta to prepare it. They should look something like this:.
- Bring the water and chicken broth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add the salt, and slowly stream in the instant polenta. Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes (depending on the polenta).
- Now transfer the polenta into a casserole or baking dish and spread to evenly coat (you should have a layer at least 1/2 " thick, but if it's thicker don't worry, you can always just cut the pieces in half later to thin them down). You can grease the dish if you want, but I never have a problem with it sticking.
- Let cool for at least one hour and up to 2 days in the refrigerator (it will become solid and easy to work with once cooled).
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450, remove the polenta from the dish and cut into strips that resemble fries (I like 1/2" by 1/2" and about 3" in length).
- Place on a baking sheet and pour oil over the strips. Toss to coat and add salt or other desired seasonings at this point.
- Cook for 20 minutes in the oven, turning once halfway through. Enjoy and eat alone or serve with your favorite sauce.