Use cornmeal to make these uber-tasty baked polenta fries.
I once interviewed a prominent cookbook author about Chanuka foods, and how all things fried are totally tasty. She told me: "I always say you can take a lego piece and throw it in the fryer and it is so delicious." Fried things are obviously delicious, and I'm a sucker for a perfectly crisp french fry. But frying everything all the time is... not exactly artery-friendly. Luckily, we can get that crispy crunch in other ways, as with these golden-brown baked polenta fries.
Polenta is a dish of cooked cornmeal that can be served in a variety of ways. When freshly made, it has a texture almost like mashed potatoes, but if you chill it, it sets up and can be sliced into shapes and baked or fried. Blasting the polenta fries under the heat of the broiler allows them to get nice and crispy brown, giving the outside a solid crunch with a creamy, smooth inside. Polenta doesn't have much flavor, so it's a perfect vehicle to try out your favorite spice combinations. I used garlic powder and some chili powder for a kick, but you can try out pretty much any other spice.
Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.