This recipe for Polenta Fries with Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup is tasty and different. Easy to make and impressive to serve.
The story behind Polenta Fries with Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup
This recipe for Polenta Fries with Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup was one I developed for Colavita USA to serve at the 2012 Food and Wine Show in NYC along with Italian Meatball Sliders. Attendees came back to tell them that their food was the BEST in the show. And they are really delicious, with a crispy exterior and a creamy interior.
Attendees came back to tell them that their food was the BEST in the show..
The Polenta Fries
For the fries, I used instant polenta which cooks very quickly. If you don't have instant polenta, you could use fine cornmeal or regular polenta. If using regular polenta it would be best to grind it finer than is normally found for polenta by putting it into a blender a giving it a few quick pulses. This fine polenta shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to cook. You could also use pre-made packaged polenta that you can find in many stores, slice the roll into slices, and then cut into sticks. They will be short sticks, but still tasty.
The Red Pepper Ketchup
The red pepper ketchup is a combination of marinara and jarred roasted red peppers that are blended together with a few embellishments and then simmered slowly on the stove to create a thick "ketchup".
The ketchup is very tasty and would be delish on any number of things, including burgers, meatloaf, or even just plain old ordinary fries made with plain old ordinary potatoes. Like these Skillet French Fries.
See easy peasy and impressive too!
Polenta Fries with Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup
- For the Fries
- ½ box instant polenta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¾ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
- Oil for frying
- Roasted Red Pepper "Ketchup"
- 1 ½ cups Marinara Sauce
- 1 7.25 - ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Prepare the Polenta Fries: Cook according to the package directions "Basic" polenta less ½ cup water. While the polenta is cooking, add the oil, salt, and pepper.
- When almost done, stir in the cheese. Immediately after it is done, pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan that has been lightly coated with olive oil and smooth the top with a spatula that has been dipped in olive oil. The polenta should be about ½ inch thick). Cover the top with plastic wrap, pressing it on the top of the polenta. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, or until very firm. (Can be made a day ahead.)
- Turn the polenta onto a cutting board, cut in half laterally, then cut each half into ½ inch "fries".
- Heat about ½ inch of oil in a skillet or frying pan to 375° F. Add the fries, in batches, cook until browned, then turn to evenly brown each side. Remove to a wire rack to drain. Keep fries warm in a 300°F oven until all the fries have been made, adding additional oil as needed. Serve with warm Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup.
- Prepare the Roasted Red Pepper "Ketchup": Place all the ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth.
- Pour blended sauce into a heavy saucepan, bring to a simmer; simmer about 30 - 45 minutes, or until very thick. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.