If you’re looking for a quick and easy snack that’s a healthier alternative to fried potato chips, then look no further than these flavourful polenta chips.
The secret to making them extra tasty is to use instant polenta and flavour the stock you cook it in. While plain water can result in a bland outcome, using a flavorsome vegetable stock infused with herbs, vegan parmesan, garlic powder, and onion powder will elevate the flavors to a whole new level.
Polenta, a staple in Italian cuisine, is not only affordable but also incredibly versatile. It’s made from ground cornmeal and was traditionally valued for its affordability, ease of preparation, and filling nature. In this recipe, we take polenta to the next level by transforming it into crispy and delicious chips.
To start, bring a large pot of vegetable stock (or water) to a boil, along with olive oil, few tablespoons of vegan parmesan, salt, herbs, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir everything together to create a flavourful base for the polenta. Gradually add the polenta while continuously whisking to ensure a smooth texture without any lumps. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more herbs or salt to suit your preference. Remove the rosemary from the pot.
Next, line a tin with baking paper and pour the cooked polenta into it, smoothing the surface. Place the tin in the fridge for about an hour to allow the polenta to set. This chilling process helps the polenta solidify, making it easier to cut into chips later on.Once the polenta has set, remove the tin from the fridge and carefully tip the solidified polenta onto a wooden board. Now comes the fun part—cutting it into chips! You can choose to cut them into thick chips for a hearty snack or thin fries for a lighter option. Use a sharp knife to create even slices, ensuring that each chip is of similar thickness.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit). Arrange the cut polenta on a lined baking tray, ensuring they are not too crowded, as this allows for even cooking and maximum crispiness. Sprinkle the chips with salt and the remaining vegan parmesan to add an extra layer of flavor. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.After the initial 20 minutes, carefully flip the chips over using a spatula or tongs. This helps to ensure both sides of the chips become golden brown and crispy. Continue baking for another 20 minutes until the chips are beautifully crisp and golden.
Once your polenta chips are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. They should be delightfully crunchy on the outside with a tender, creamy center. Serve your homemade polenta chips with a dipping sauce of your choice to enhance the flavor even further. Whether it’s a tangy tomato salsa, a creamy garlic aioli, or a spicy chipotle mayo, the choice is yours. The combination of the crispy chips and the flavorful sauce creates a mouthwatering experience that is sure to satisfy your snack cravings.
These polenta chips make a fantastic side dish or a tasty snack for any occasion. They’re a healthier alternative to traditional fried potato chips, as they are baked instead of fried. The use of instant polenta makes them quick and convenient to prepare, while the added flavors in the stock and the vegan parmesan elevate them to a whole new level of deliciousness. Plus, you can customize the seasoning to suit your taste preferences, adding herbs and spices of your choice to create a flavor profile that excites your palate.
Can I use regular cornmeal instead of polenta for this recipe?
While polenta is traditionally made from coarsely ground cornmeal, you can use regular cornmeal as a substitute in this recipe. However, keep in mind that the texture of the chips may differ slightly, as polenta has a slightly coarser texture. the taste and overall result should still be enjoyable.
Can I make these polenta chips ahead of time?
Absolutely! These polenta chips can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. Once you have cut the polenta into fries and seasoned them, you can place them on a lined tray and freeze them until solid. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container for long-term storage. When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply bake them from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
Can I deep-fry the polenta chips instead of baking them?
While this recipe focuses on baking the polenta chips for a healthier option, you can certainly choose to deep-fry them if you prefer. Keep in mind that deep-frying will result in a different texture and a higher calorie content due to the added oil. If you decide to deep-fry, make sure to use a deep fryer or a deep pot with enough oil to fully submerge the chips. Fry them in batches until they turn golden brown, then drain them on paper towels to remove excess oil
Can I use an air fryer instead of baking in the oven?
Yes, an air fryer can be a great alternative for baking the polenta chips. Preheat the air fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then place the seasoned polenta chips in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook at a temperature of around 200-220 degrees Celsius (400-425 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 15-20 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until they are crispy and golden brown. Adjust the cooking time and temperature as needed based on your air fryer model.
Do I have to use essential oils?
Not at all, it just adds that extra punch. Lemon rind and lemon juice are going to give your cake lots of flavour.