Appetizer, Snack, Vegetarian
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Old Bay Polenta Fries

I’m sure my fellow foodies are insanely excited about this week!  Turkey day is almost here!!  As you can guess, thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday.  Our family has the traditional thanksgiving fare with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn bread, cranberry compote… the works!  It’s not always possible to have our entire family together for thanksgiving in recent years, but this year we managed to make it happen and I’m sooooo excited!  In general, this time of year from thanksgiving to New Years is my favorite time of the year.  Aside from the obvious reasons of getting time off and being with family, I think that the holidays have always been particularly memorable for me because around this time 20 years ago, my family moved to the U.S.  I didn’t fall in love with my new surroundings immediately and I was definitely NOT happy about leaving the familiar. Going from never experiencing weather below 50 degrees to brutal winters and snow was also not easy.  But  it was definitely a time of togetherness and being thankful for new opportunities, a feeling that is always attached to this time of the year!


Now for today’s recipe!  I have to preface this by saying that I recently decided to give up fries and potato chips. I know I know, it’s craaaazy and everyone definitely gives me an “are you serious!?!?!” look when I tell them this because they know how much I LOVE fried potatoes.  But it’s something I really wanted to do and I do believe if you’re not doing things in moderation, perhaps best to start by going cold turkey (ha!) and then work up toward moderation.  I have to also add a disclaimer that I’m allowing myself mashed potatoes because thanksgiving without mashed potatoes is no thanksgiving at all 🙂 The inspiration for trying polenta fries is really because I needed a good substitute for my fries cravings.  Though it’s not a whole lot like regular fries, it was DELICIOUS.  You can really use any kind of seasoning with this recipe- garlic salt, regular salt & pepper or a mixed herb blend.  You can get pretty creative with seasonings and serve this as an appetizer or snack along with ketchup or dipping sauces!  Hope you enjoy this recipe and hope you have a WONDERFUL thanksgiving!!

Old Bay Polenta Fries
Serves 2
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
40 min
  1. 1 cup polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits/Polenta)
  2. 3 1/4 cups water
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 1 tsp rosemary
  5. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  6. 2 tbsp butter
  7. 2 tbsp olive oil
  8. Old Bay seasoning for sprinkling
  1. Grease an 8 inch square dish
  2. In a medium sauce pan on medium-high heat, bring polenta, water, salt, rosemary and turmeric to a boil while stirring occasionally.
  3. When it reaches boil, lower the heat to medium-low and keep stirring the polenta every 30 seconds or so. Polenta tends to stick to the pan so movement is necessary to keep it cooking without having it stick to the pan. Also be careful as the water evaporates, the polenta will have bubbles of steam rising up. Use a long handle spoon to stir the pot to avoid getting burns from the escaping steam.
  4. After 15-20 minutes, the polenta should be coming off the sides and becoming a little more doughy in consistency.
  5. Turn the heat off and add in the butter.
  6. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish and level out the top so it's smooth and flat.
  7. Refrigerate the baking pan (not covered) for at least 45 minutes to let it set.
  8. After the mixture has set, turn the baking dish upside down on a large enough cutting board.
  9. Cut the polenta in about 14 strips (1 long cut). Then turn each strip over and cut width-wise AND length-wise in half. Basically cutting the polenta to mimic fries but thicker because you don't want these to dry out.
  10. Place strips on a greased cookie sheet and brush olive oil on the tops of the fries
  11. Sprinkle desired amount of old bay seasoning and place the sheet 4 inches under the broiler for 15-20 minutes. Keep checking every 5 minutes to ensure the tops are not burning.
  12. Remove when the tops look golden or after 15-20 minutes and serve immediately
Adapted from Epicurious
Adapted from Epicurious
The Full-time Foodie

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