Thermomix Polenta makes yummy “Polenta Fries”

Thermomix excels at helping us master recipes that require stirring while heating – a function that makes it perfect for tempering chocolate, cooking risotto, reducing sauces and so much more. Add Polenta to the list. The rustic side dish made of ground corn that is (usually) long-cooked and stirred to creamy perfection works as counterpoint to many savory complements. With Thermomix in the kitchen, polenta is an easy and inexpensive recipe add-on that’s all done before the table is set!  So why not make polenta the main event? If you haven’t tried it yet let’s get started —

For basic polenta I use a personalized version (below) of the quick “Cheesy Polenta” recipe from page 52 of the Thermomix “Meat on the Menu” cookbook. Polenta does not need to have cheese in it and as such it’s not really a frugal dish, but once you’ve tasted it this way, it’s nearly impossible to go back.

If there’s no fine polenta meal in the larder, just make your own by grinding white, yellow or purple popcorn kernels in the Thermomix at speed 8-10 until desired consistency is reached. Some people like a coarser, grittier polenta, and some prefer a velvety cream. (Keep in mind that finely ground polenta meal cooks faster with consistently creamy results.) For the purple polenta fries above I created a fine 50/50 blend or cornmeals from pretty organic purple corn (found at the health food store) and popcorn kernels. Too easy!

In its simplest state the soft and grainy comfort food works well with most meats, vegetables, and stews. But don’t stop there — cooled polenta (of any color) can be formed, fried, baked or broiled to satisfy the whims of any creative cook. Just pour hot polenta into a glass or tin pan and allow it to set, then cut into strips or cubes, add a bit of oily this or that, a sprinkle of seasoning, a short time in the oven or fry pan and voila — Polenta Fries! Extremely popular at parties :)

Consider serving these fries with a home-made dip such as Dijon mustard blended with Thermomix yogurt — or curried yogurt — or chili ketchup.

Or how about “Polenta Puppies” —  roll polenta into a log shape with something fun in the middle to create a festive brunch when topped with plain or seasoned yogurt.  (I’ve never sweetened the polenta itself but don’t that stop you from inventing your own sweet or fruity treat… using mascarpone instead of hard cheese… with berries or vanilla and maple syrup anyone?) Please people — play with your polenta. Like the Thermomix pizza recipe, polenta is a fun culinary canvas waiting for your creative touch.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cheesy Herbed Polenta
Cuisine: Thermomix
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • fresh rosemary leaves, from about 2 sprigs
  • 200 g. (7 oz) hard cheese, cubed (choose Parmesan, Asiago, aged Cheddar, or Jarlsburg)
  • 1000 g. (35.3 oz) water
  • 250 g. (8.8 oz) fine polenta meal (or grind your own corn!)
  • 50-55 g. (1.8-1.9 oz) butter
  • optional seasonings: basil, oregano, chili flakes
  • optional ingredients (see notes below): pitted chopped black olives, feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Prepare ingredients by weighing out the polenta meal. If starting with kernels such as purple corn or popcorn begin by grinding these for about 1 minute/speed 9-10. (This is extremely noisy so increase speed gradually and consider protecting the ears.) Check the size of the grind and repeat if necessary. The aim here is to get it down to a powder -- something like flour if possible.
  2. Grate the hard cheese by milling for 10 seconds/speed 10 and reserve in a separate bowl.
  3. Drop garlic cloves and rosemary through hole onto spinning blades and chop for about 6 seconds/speed 6.
  4. Push herbs down sides of bowl with spatula and add water. Heat 7 minutes/Varoma temp/speed 3.
  5. Reset Thermomix to cook for 3 minutes/Varoma tem/speed 3 and add polenta meal through hole in lid as blades spin below.
  6. Add cheese and butter while increasing speed to speed 8 for about 45 seconds creating an evenly blended creamy mixture. Proceed to serve hot or allow to cool for making fries -- see serving notes below.
  7. Notes about serving: If using as a side dish, serve immediately or keep warm. If making polenta fries or fried polenta this is an easy do-ahed that can be prepared a day in advance. Spread the warm polenta in a lasagna pan or cake tin that has been greased or lined with parchment. Allow to cool or chill before cutting into wedges or cubes for frying.
Notes
Notes about frying and baking polenta: It's easy to fry solid polenta in a frying pan with olive oil, bacon grease, or chicken fat. For a healthier alternative bake Polenta fries in a hot oven for a few minutes. Lay polenta wedges on a lined baking sheet and bake as is, or brush with a thin layer of oil. For the purple polenta fries shown above I brushed polenta wedges with an egg wash and tossed lightly to cover with a blend of parmesan, corn flour and paprika before baking in a hot oven. Baking time will vary so just watch your fries until the begin to turn crisp and golden.


Note about optional ingredients: When using feta I usually replace about 50 g (1.8 oz) of the hard cheese with crumbled feta and add this with the other cheese and butter. (It's best not to add feta to the bowl when milling the hard cheese or you will get a sticky mess that is harder to work with.) If adding chopped olives, add these at the cheese stage.


One more note about salt: most cheeses and olives (if using) contain a lot of salt, so it's not usually necessary to include salt in this recipe but you may feel otherwise. Consider adding salt at table instead of in the recipe itself.

 

Want more?
We all want more Thermomix inspiration! Tell us what you do with polenta!

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See 25 comments from people who cook with Thermomix:

  1. Quirky Jo November 13, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    That purple polenta is AWESOME!!! My kids will love me if I make those purple polenta fries :D Thanks for another great recipe! xx

  2. ThermomixBlogger Helene November 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    That’s for sure, even adults will love you for making these fries but you do NOT need purple corn to go ahead… just use regular popcorn kernels and make a yellow version. Equally tasty!

  3. Mara November 14, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    Oooooh… Too bad I don’t know where to find purple kernels here.

  4. heather November 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    lm not having any success with a pavlova ,help !

  5. Natasha Conrad December 2, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    We made your gorgeous polenta fries for our dinner tonight. Superb recipe Helene…we thoroughly enjoyed them.

  6. ThermomixBlogger Helene December 3, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    Yay Natasha!!! So glad you tried, liked and shared your success back here on the blog :-) Thank you!

  7. ThermomixBlogger Helene December 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    Hi Heather — sorry to say this comment/quetion of yours got away without an answer :( I’m not qualified to help with pavlova issues but there are some experts around in the Thermomix world for sure. Here’s a Pavlova on Tenina’s blog, plus more on the forum. Hope these are a helpful start for you Heather, you are a braver woman than I ;-)

  8. Michelle December 31, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Just made polenta chips for a dinner side and they were sooooo good! Thanks for the recipe! I tossed the chips in a mixture of olive oil, Cajun spice mix and raw polenta. They came out of the oven super crunchy! Thanks :)

  9. ThermomixBlogger Helene December 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Great to hear from you Michelle ;-) This sounds like a good feed and I’m just sorry I wasn’t there at your table… Remember too that these make a great party food. Happy mixing!

  10. Jane March 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    I made the cheesey herb polenta, shallow fried small squares and served with a light tomatoe/ basil sauce. It was a hit. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Great to hear from you Jane and very glad that you enjoyed the recipe. A “light tomato & basil sauce” sounds just perfect ;-)

  12. Sha May 8, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    I love this recipe so much. Both as a creamy polenta and as chips. It’s so easy and delicious. I am going to make it for my regular local mum and Bub catch up and dinner which I like to discuss what I cook on my site and FB and Instagram, is it ok if I send the link to your recipe? Thank you

  13. ThermomixBlogger Helene May 8, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Hi Sha – so happy that you enjoy using this recipe with your Thermomix. I would LOVE for you to share my link with your friends… THANK YOU Sha! ;-)

  14. Shauna October 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Hi, this recipe sounds great! I haven’t had polenta before, do you have any suggestions about what to serve it with? Thanks :D

  15. Isabel in Málaga October 14, 2013 at 4:47 am #

    Hello Helene, I will try your method of making polenta with a Cuban version. I will chop onion, garlic and green peppers in the Thermomix, fry them up a bit “sofrito” style and then pour in chicken stock, a bit of salt and the ground cornmeal. We simply call this “harina de maíz”… serve this with pork in chops or cook pork chunks with the “sofrito” adding a tablespoon or two of tomato sauce and followed by the corn meal and chicken stockl. All together I enjoy it served with a fried egg on top and if you side this with some fried ripe plantains you have yourself a very delicious Cuban favorite!!

  16. ThermomixBlogger Helene October 14, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Hi Shauna; You can use polenta as a side dish to sausages, chicken, or any meat. Or just have it beside a large salad, with omelette, fried or roasted vegetables… the list goes on. I see that Isabel has added some serving noted to her comments above… lots of inspiration there too ;-)

  17. ThermomixBlogger Helene October 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Gracias Isabel, thanks for this inspiring comment full of recipe ideas to try! xo

  18. Kylie Burnett April 20, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Just made this – SO simple and absolutely delish! I substituted the garlic and rosemary for our Salsa Dip mix. Perfect! Thanks for such a great, simple recipe – 5 STARS!

  19. ThermomixBlogger Helene April 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    Yay Kylie, so glad you tried and enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your modification with us!

  20. Rina Valerio March 30, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    Melt gorgonzola and cream to taste and pour over the polenta chips or put sauce in a bowl and use as dipping sauce.

  21. ThermomixBlogger Helene April 6, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

    omg, this gorgonzola and cream idea is so decadent… I can’t wait to try it, thanks Rina!!!

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