The versatility of fried polenta makes it suitable for toasts, chips, fries and even crackers. | tchakayiti.com

How to successfully prepare fried polenta

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Earlier this week, I discussed the best preparation method for polenta fries with one of Tchakayiti’s Instagram followers. Our conversation made me realize that I needed to actually devote an article to the various fried polenta recipe ideas that I have shared through the years. Thus, today’s article.

Consider it a follow-up about my love for (fried) polenta and its versatility.Mayi moulen better known as polenta elsewhere or maïs moulu. | tchakayiti.com

On this blog, specifically, you will find detailed recipes for my djondjon polenta bites and other mayi moulen bites, which each showcase cold polenta bites and cold polenta bites only. When it comes to the fried versions, I have yet to post an actual recipe. Yet, if you follow me on Social Media, you have seen my polenta fries, chips, crackers or toasts. In essence, these recipe suggestions follow the same principle.

“Whether you’re preparing polenta fries, chips, crackers or toasts, you must first cook your polenta, let it cool on a baking sheet and then cut it into your desired shape and thickness before frying or baking.

Cut it into medium-sized rectangles and you got yourself some toasts. Slice it into thick sticks for fries or use a cookie cutter for some Holiday themed chips.”

I must admit that these simplistic explanations fail to tell you about the obstacles you will most likely encounter on the way to achieving the crispy golden polenta perfection you aim for.

So, without further ado, let’s get into the bumps waiting for you on the crispy polenta road, and answer some of the doubts you may have:

  1. Watch out for excessive splattering

    The water in the cooked polenta reacts with oil causing splattering. But you can avoid that. For less splatters, simply reduce the amount of water you add to your polenta while preparing it. Use, at most, 2 ½ to 3 cups of water for each cup of polenta. If you were preparing your polenta the Haitian way, you would probably double that amount. But since you’re going for fried polenta, which also means cook them some more, you can and should be okay with a thicker half cooked mayi moulen.

  2. Your polenta may stick to the pan but, if they stick to the point of no return, it only means one thing: You need to step into the 21st century and invest in non-stick cookware.

    To be honest, polenta does tend to stick to the pan while frying, even when deep frying. But if you use the right kind of pan, they will slide off once golden and crispy. So please, I beg you. Do use a nonstick. It will make your life so much easier. I speak from experience.

    If you’re looking for recommendations go for the Red Copper or Gotham Steel pans. They work like magic AND require little to no oil. You can even simply dab the pan with oil to get grilling marks like the ones below.Grilled polenta taste juste as great as fried polenta. | tchakayiti.com

  3. If you don’t want to stand by the stove, oven-bake your polenta.

    Coat your polenta with your favorite oil and bake until golden and crispy on all sides. Fair warning, that method will take longer. On the flip side it does give you the freedom to go take care of things around the house.

  4. If you must ask for temperature settings. Don’t. Just stick to 350.

    Listen, I am Haitian. We bake everything, and I mean everything, at 350, unless the recipe specifies other settings. Even, then, we may stick to 350. So yes, if you must ask for temperature settings… just go for 350. And keep an eye on your polenta so it doesn’t burn. It’s that simple.

This article and the recipe below contains affiliate links. This means that I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Fried Polenta Recipes: fries & toasts

This recipe will become your base recipe for all things polenta: fries, toasts, crackers, chips, you name it. Feel free to season your polenta to taste, add some cheese, a spicy kick...you name it. Let your creativity come to life!

And because you should get creative, I did not include exact proportions.

Ingredients

For the polenta

  • 1 part polenta
  • 2 ½ parts water
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • Thyme
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Tete de Maure Cheese or your favorite grated cheese optional

For the polenta fries

  • Prepared polenta
  • Grated Tete de Maure cheese optional
  • Salt for sprinkling optional
  • Thyme for sprinkling optional
  • Oil for frying

For the avocado polenta toasts

  • Prepared polenta
  • Avocado
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Pickled Shallots
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oil for frying or grilling see note

For the guacamole polenta toasts

  • Prepared polenta
  • Avocado
  • Purple onion chopped
  • Garlic chopped
  • Piment Bouc chopped
  • Lime juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tomato
  • Parsley chopped
  • Oil for frying or grilling see note

Instructions

For the polenta

  1. In a pot, mix the water, polenta, oil and seasoning
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. Reduce and simmer until the water is fully absorbed making sure to stir occasionally to keep polenta from sticking to the pot
  4. Once completely cooked, add the cheese (optional) and stir to melt
  5. Spread the prepared polenta on a sheet pan and let cool completely before cutting into desired shapes

For the polenta fries

  1. Cut the prepared and cold polenta into sticks
  2. Fry until golden and crispy on all sides in sizzling hot oil
  3. Serve warm with cheese, salt or thyme sprinkled on top (optional)

For the avocado polenta toasts

  1. Prepare your toppings
  2. Slice the avocado thinly
  3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half
  4. Cut the prepared and cold polenta into rectangles
  5. In a non-stick pan, heat one tsbp of oil
  6. Add the polenta and let cook until golden flipping once
  7. Remove from heat
  8. Top with avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, pickled shallots
  9. Season with salt and pepper
  10. Drizzle with olive oil
  11. Enjoy

For the guacamole polenta toasts

  1. Prepare the guacamole
  2. Mash the avocado
  3. Season with lime, salt, pepper, chopped garlic, purple onions and piment bouc
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside
  5. Dice the tomato, season it with salt, pepper, chopped parsley and olive oil and set aside
  6. Cut the prepared and cold polenta into rectangles
  7. In a non-stick pan, heat one tsbp of oil
  8. Add the polenta and let cook until golden flipping once
  9. Remove from heat
  10. Top with the prepared guacamole
  11. Garnish with the tomato
  12. Enjoy

Recipe Notes

The recipes for the toasts use a non-stick Red Copper pan, which only requires about a spoonful of oil. If using a different type of pan, make sure to use enough oil to avoid the polenta sticking to the bottom of the pan

 

To speed up the cooling process, you can put the spread polenta in the fridge or freezer. 

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