Polenta Fries with Sriracha Mayo

Polenta Fries with Sriracha Mayo

If you speak to parents about feeding kids you know it’s only a matter of time before the P word comes up. Old picky pants. And we have a lot to say about it. In fact, next Tuesday at 2pm, we’ll be doing a Facebook Live all about it. Join us! Ask us your questions before had so we can answer them. Something that often comes up alongside a discussion around pickiness is the challenge of trying to encourage kids to be more adventurous at meal time. We know what it’s like to feel like the foods your kid will happily eat is shrinking. Making a meal from those five foods can be like trying to parallel park in too tight a spot.

I know you’re looking at these golden, crispy polenta fries and wondering how they can possibly be part of this conversation. No one would resist trying and then devouring polenta fries. And that’s the point! When you’re thinking of introducing new recipes or ingredients, don’t make them all hard sells. Okay, I want my kids to dig into a kale salad as much as the next guy but if for every kale salad was a plate of polenta fries as the new thing? Your kids are going to feel like trying new things is worth giving a shot. And be sure to praise them for it even if it wasn’t a hard sell.

These are really easy to make. I sometimes avoid polenta, thinking it’s a bit tricky. But whenever I do, I’m reminded it’s not tricky at all. Just keep stirring. Add flavour – butter, Parmesan, salt, pepper, lemon – and you’re good. It’s nice to be able to give your usual go-to’s a break – pasta, rice, mashed potatoes – and even nicer when everyone is happy about it.

Let us know if you try these and how quickly they disappear of plates.

 

photo by Ashley van der Laan

Polenta Fries

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tsp - 1 Tbsp Sriracha

Method

In a large pan, bring stock and milk to a simmer. Pour in the cornmeal while stirring. The mixture will thicken up quickly so keep stirring. Cook the polenta for about 10 minutes. Stir in Parmesan, butter, lemon juice, thyme and salt and pepper.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour your polenta on the sheet and smooth it out quickly so that you have a nice, even layer. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes (or overnight).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Remove your polenta from the fridge. Cut into sticks and place carefully on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes. Gently flip the polenta fries and bake for another 10 or 15 minutes, until they are deeply golden and crispy. Remove and serve warm.

In a small bowl, stir mayo and Sriracha together and you have your dip!

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