Oregano & Garlic Polenta Fries with Marinara Dipping Sauce

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When you dip, I dip, we dip…

Golden and crispy on the outside while soft on the inside, polenta fries are the perfect alternative to French fries. Move over Ketchup, this time it’s Marinara’s turn!

For this recipe, warm broth, sautéed garlic and fresh oregano and goat cheese is folded generously into a pot of bubbling cornmeal, infusing the cornmeal.

The hot, fragrant cornmeal is then poured into a baking pan and set aside until cooled. Next, it is refrigerated for approximately two hours. At this point, the polenta can then be easily removed from the pan or a mould and cut into shapes of your choice. These steps can also be done ahead of time to simplify entertaining.

Follow the steps below to make perfect polenta fries. And don’t forget to whip up a beautiful marinara sauce or dip of your preference.

Polenta fries with homemade marinara dip
Happy dipping!

Oregano & Garlic Polenta Fries with Marinara Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus 2 hours refrigeration time)   Cook Time: 3 minutes each side
Yields: 25 – 30 Fries     Author: Milk and Marigolds

6 cups of water
1¾ cups of cornmeal
2 tablespoons of butter (or vegan butter)
1 gluten-free stock cube (I used chicken)
4 tablespoons of goat cheese
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1½ tablespoons of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup of olive oil (for frying)

Marinara Sauce:
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 gluten-free stock cube (chicken or veg)
⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil

1. Mince the garlic and dice the onion.  Set aside two clove amounts and the onion for the marinara sauce.

2. In a large pot, add a small drizzle of olive oil. Warm oil on a medium heat and then add the minced garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until softened (not browned). Add the dry oregano, pepper and goat cheese and butter. Mix to melt.

3. Add 6 cups of water and the stock cube. Cover and bring to a boil.

4. Once boiling, turn it down to a low heat and slowly add the cornmeal while whisking to avoid lumps from forming. Stir or whisk constantly for 10 to 15 minutes. The arm work is worth it!

5. Once thickened, pour hot polenta into a large rectangular baking pan with a 1 inch lip. Disperse evenly. Allow to cool and then place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

6. While waiting for the polenta to set, prepare the marinara dipping sauce. In a saucepan, add half the olive oil (¼ cup) and bring to a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until clear. Then add the garlic, oregano, pepper and stock cube. Sauté for 1 – 2 minutes. Do not allow garlic to brown or overcook. Add the tomatoes and the remainder of the oil (¼ cup). Stir often and bring to a low heat. The sauce will be ready once the polenta has set in the fridge.

7. Remove polenta from the fridge and carefully flip the pan upside down onto a cutting board.

8. Polenta can then be cut into 1 x 3inch pieces or shapes of your choice.

9. In a large skillet, add a ⅓ cup of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Once oil begins to lightly sizzle, add one small batch of the fries at a time. This will be easier to manage. Have a baking pan lined with paper towel handy. Set oven to a low heat to keep batches warm.

10. Fry the polenta fries for approximately 2 – 3 minutes each side or until crisp and goldenServe with marinara (room temperature or chilled) or with your favourite dip.

Bake the fries for a healthier option. Flip all sides to achieve golden, crisp fries.

Cornmeal to water quantities were referred to from Giada De Laurentiis’s Everyday Italian
Copyright © 2014. Milk & Marigolds

10 thoughts on “Oregano & Garlic Polenta Fries with Marinara Dipping Sauce

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