Polenta. The notion strikes me every now and again to try something new and with polenta I had decided that it looked crumbly and could crisp up to a nice coating on some falafel bites that I was making. I was wrong. Rolling the falafel in the polenta and then pan frying didn’t work for me at all as the polenta was still too uncooked and raw and tasted of nothing. So the almost full bag of polenta lay unused in the cupboard for a few weeks until I came across a recipe for polenta chips. The recipe sounded dull enough so I decided to have a go with my own take on polenta chips spicing them up with cumin and chilli as it really needs a help along in the flavour game. They turned out just as I had hoped, nice and crispy on the outside with a bit of bite yet softly fluffy and yielding in the middle. We had these with some juicy steaks and salad and a dip of Rebel Chilli sauce.
Note: Requires 1 to 2 hours for the polenta to set before cooking the chips.
You will need:
2 oiled baking trays, one medium (30x20cm), one large(35x40cm).
1 litre water
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chopped red chilli paste (I use Goodall’s)
50g grated cheddar cheese
Oil for brushing
Boil one litre of water in a saucepan. Whisk in the polenta, cumin and chilli paste, steadily whisking over the heat as it starts to thicken up then reducing the heat and continue whisking until smooth and thick for a couple of minutes.
Take off the heat and whisk in the grated cheese.
Pour the thick polenta paste into the smaller of the two oiled baking trays and leave to set in a cool, dry place for 1 to 2 hours until set.
Pre-heat the (fan) oven to 220C.
Tip the set polenta tray upside down onto the larger tray and give it a few taps so that the set polenta comes away onto the large tray.
Cut the set polenta into chunky chips sized to your liking, space them out and then use a pastry brush to oil them on all sides.
Cook in the hot oven for approx. 35 minutes until golden brown and nicely crisped up on the outside.
Serve with ketchup, mayonnaise or a good hot rebel chilli dip if you like.
‘Til next time, Sheila