If you’re like me, you love ingenuity in the kitchen. This includes all manner of tricks, shortcuts and clever ways to make things. Better. Easier. Tastier.
The best example I can think of and do mention over and over including here since it’s very appropriate, is the Italian ‘cucina povera’. Poor man’s kitchen. Peasant food. You could look into every culture’s history, especially during hard times, and find examples. Some say that’s the true measure of kitchen talent, and after all my kitchen years… I have to agree. It’s easy to take an expensive product and have it turn out well, but it’s not so easy with the ordinary things. I call this making something out of nothing, in the most delicious way~
It’s also a dual purpose recipe. Make polenta for dinner one night, to serve it warm and soft – in place of mashed potatoes. Put the remaining in a greased shallow pan, smooth out the top, cover it, and pop it in the fridge. It’ll be good for at least several days, and you can make the fries whenever the fancy hits you.
You could really have fun with it, and cut them into shapes…
Or cut them into finger sized pieces. The brown & crispy exterior plays off nicely with the soft center. The good news is, they’re NOT deep-fried. Put your heaviest skillet, cast iron is great here, on medium heat. Barely cover the bottom with oil (I’ll bet I used only 2 teaspoons here) – and let time do it’s thing. Depending on your pan and heat levels, it could be a few minutes per side. Be patient. You will be rewarded.
Serve with tomato sauce, some freshly grated Parmigiano – and a sprinkle of something green to really make it look great. Buon appetito~