No frying was involved in the making of these chips.
That's right, these crispy skinned and soft centred cheesy polenta chips are made in the oven, not the chip pan. And if you need more reasons to give them a go, the polenta can be made days ahead and sat waiting in the fridge to be cut and baked — so they can be on the table pretty fast when that crispy savoury treat craving strikes.
A SNACK OR SIDE DISH FOR TWO : FIRST THE POLENTA CHIPS
- 150g polenta grain, and more for dredging
- 600ml boiling water
- 60g grated Parmesan
- A handful chopped fresh rosemary
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- A knob of unsalted butter
- Groundnut or vegetable oil
FOR THE GOAT’S CHEESE AND TOMATO DIP
- 150ml smooth passata
- 2 tbsp soft goat’s cheese
- A dash of tabasco
- 1 level tsp sugar
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- A small scrunch of sea salt and big grind of black pepper
- A glug of extra virgin olive oil
- Once you’ve measured out your polenta, give it a scrunch of salt, lots of black pepper and add the rosemary to it.
- In a saucepan pour the boiling water and keep it on a high heat, gradually pour the polenta grains into the water whisking as you go, working quickly and still whisking with one hand, add the Parmesan and butter, keep whisking for around 4 minutes (you may want to turn the heat down slightly as it bubbles quite fiercely) keep going until it thickens and then remove it from the heat.
- Pour the polenta mix into a non stick tray and let it cool for around 15 minutes. Lay a sheet of baking paper (shiny side up) onto a work surface and tip the polenta out onto it. Cover the polenta with another sheet of baking paper (shiny side down) and using your hands, press it out gently — you’re looking to get it to about an inch thick — use a rolling pin if you want. Leave it to cool.
- Into a saucepan place the dip ingredients apart from the olive oil, and heat on a low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat your oven to 190° C (fan).
- While it’s heating, scatter a few tablespoons of polenta grain into a mixing bowl. Roughly cut up the set and cooled polenta and gently toss it in the polenta grains.
- Lay them on a baking sheet and drizzle with a tiny bit of cooking oil, then bake for about 35 minutes, or until they're crunchy and crisp on the outside.
- Remove from the oven and serve with the sauce in a pot on the side — wait a minute or two before digging in, for they are red hot.