A great twist on the traditional French fry, dress these up by cutting the polenta with a crinkle cutter or cookie cutters. Serve with roasted red pepper dip or fondue.
4 cups milk
1 cup water
1 oz. butter
2 1⁄4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄2-1 tsp. ground sage
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1. Bring milk, 1 cup water, and butter to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook until polenta is very thick, about 8 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, sage, 1⁄4 tsp. pepper, and salt to taste.
2. Transfer polenta to greased 1-in. deep sheet pan and spread evenly. Let cool until firm. (Refrigerate up to 1 day ahead.)
3. Cut polenta into 1⁄2-in. wide strips. Combine flour with 1⁄4-1⁄2 tsp. pepper.
4. Heat oil to 375°F. Dredge polenta strips in seasoned flour. Fry in batches until golden brown, about 5 min. Drain on paper towels.
5. Serve fries hot, with roasted red pepper dip.