Happy National Fry Day! Okay, really it’s National French Fry Day, but I don’t discriminate. I love all fries, regardless of their shape, colour, or origin. Potato fries, yam fries, wedge fries, crispy fries, curly fries, shoestring fries, crinkle cut, fast food, homemade. Fries are the definition of the Ultimate Snack. They come in so many different shapes and sizes, and it’s hard not to love them all.
Whether they’re fancy, overpriced truffle oil fries (life changing) or down-and-dirty McDonald’s fries (I have a weakness) they’re damn tasty.
So, today is a day we celebrate the wonder that is the fry.
What is your favourite way to enjoy fries? They’ve definitely become a high-profile food item in the last few years, popping up on menus on simple food trucks to fancy 4-star restaurants.
I cannot resist fries. If I go out for a meal and am asked “Would you like fries or a salad with that?” the fries always win. Always.
Polenta fries may seem a little weird, and I’ll admit, they are… but not in a bad way! They’re light and surprisingly tasty, with a wonderful interior texture from the graininess of the polenta. Because they’re essentially just “polenta sticks”, they’re great little flavour vessels and will soak up any flavouring/seasoning that you top them with.
In this recipe, I topped them with the classic combo of salt and rosemary, but fancy topping still apply. Cracked pepper, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, truffle oil – the possibilities are endless.
Season them as you wish!
However you season them, this lemon paprika aioli is is perfect for dipping: creamy and tart with a kick of spice! I’m not usually a fan of aioli, I often find it too thick and heavy, but when it’s flavoured with fresh lemon juice and some earthy, spicy paprika, it’s wonderful.
So if you’re looking for something a little different, try these polenta fries! A yummy and unique way to celebrate Nation Fry Day!
(PS – how awesome is it that National Fry Day is an actual thing? Foodies unite!)
|Polenta Fries with a Lemon Paprika Aioli|| || |
- Lemon Paprika Aioli:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Polenta Fries:
- 1 cup + ¼ cups cornmeal, divided
- 3 cups water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- Sea salt, for topping
- To make aioli, blend all ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Lightly grease an 8"x8" baking pan; set aside.
- Combine 1 cup of the polenta, water, and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until thickened. Add in butter and stir well. Pour polenta into prepared baking tray, smoothing out the top, and let cool for about 40 minutes until solid.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil; set aside.
- Cut the polenta into 12 strips, then slice those strips in half - you should end up with 24 strips 4 inches long. Transfer strips to a bowl and GENTLY toss with the remaining ¼ cup cornmeal, olive oil, Parmesan, and rosemary. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping every few minutes, until golden brown.
- Top with sea salt, to taste, and serve immediately with lemon paprika aioli.