Dante, my 6-year old, likes to look in cookbooks. He'll frequently use post-its to mark recipes he wants us to try, and recently he picked a recipe for Polenta Fries. It was a fairly complicated one that included deep frying and as delicious as that probably is, I just wasn't up to it. So I decided to use a simpler method, and it turned out really well. Dante and I loved it. (The older kid - not so much.)
You have to plan ahead a little bit here, as the polenta needs to cool down.
Baked Polenta Fries
375 ml polenta (I use a quick version)
125 ml milk
250 ml water
1/2 tsp Vegeta (this is an all-round spice/flavor enhancer that you can totally leave out, I just happen to like it)
1 tbsp butter
large handful grated parmesan
Bring water and milk to a boil. Add polenta and vegeta if using. Stirring all the time, cook until thickened. it will go fast - just a few minutes - and it will be a little dangerous because of a tendency to sputter so be careful and don't let the kids do this.
Remove from heat, and stir in butter and parmesan.
Pour onto an oiled cookie sheet (or a smaller baking pan if you wish a thicker polenta). Shape a little, so it's roughly a thick rectangle. Cool completely, ideally for a few hours on the fridge.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to about 200°C.
Cut the polenta into fry-shaped rectangles. Oil them on all sides and place on a lined baking sheet. Cook for about ten minutes on the first side, flip and then for maybe five more minutes. Your goal is to get them slightly golden brown, but don't over do it because they will burn easily.
Eat straight away. The unbaked polenta keeps well in the fridge for several days but the baked ones are best freshly cooked.