Herb and Parmesan Polenta Chips with Crispy Sage Leaf Salt

Chips, but make them polenta. And with herbs and parmesan. Last week Jason took a week off work to help me at home. Working on two businesses and taking care of Celeste full time for the last 6 months has been a lot, and I needed a break. To show Jason my appreciation, I decided to do what I love the most - cook. Each day I made something delicious for him (and me, let's be honest) to enjoy together at home.

First up, I made my famous crunchy baked herb and polenta chips. If someone asked me to describe these in three words, I would say "crunchy, scrumptious and cosy". There's something magical about seeing crushed dried corn turn into a decadent creamy mixture, then cooled down in the freezer, before slicing them into chips and baking them in the oven. Taking a very traditional ingredient and turning it into something else has always brought me a lot of joy.

Now, normally I serve my polenta chips with flakes of salt and a wedge of fresh lemon. But we had some sage leaves in our herb garden in the backyard so I decided to get creative and make my own Crispy Sage Leaf Salt. It's as simple as crisping the leaves up in browned butter, crushing them in between your fingertips and combining with sea salt flakes. This simple yet flavourful seasoning elevates these polenta chips to new heights. I also made two quick mayos as well; one citrus and one spicy using ingredients we already had in the fridge. Read on for the recipes. As always, enjoy! And remember, if you make these polenta chips share them with us on Instagram by tagging @smorkitchen or using our hashtag #smorkitchen. We love seeing what you cook! 

 

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Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 cup polenta, you can get quick cook polenta or traditional slow cook polenta, which takes about 30 minutes to make
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 70g finely grated parmesan 
  • A good handful of fresh herbs, chopped finely. We used basil, sage and oregano.
  • Olive oil spray
  • Crispy sage leaf salt (recipe below) or salt and pepper, to season

 

Crispy Sage Leaf Salt

  • 50g butter 
  • Sage leaves, handful
  • Flaky sea salt, pinch
  • Method: Brown butter in a small saucepan on a medium heat. When the butter is brown, crisp the sage leaves in the butter. Careful not to let the butter blacken and burn, as this will make the sage leaves taste bitter. Simply drop the sage leaves in, let them crisp up and set aside on a plate. Crumble the crispy leaves in your fingertips and add them to salt. Stir to combine.

 

Citrus Mayonaise 

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Method: Add all ingredients into a small bowl, stir to combine. 

 

Spicy Mayonaise 

  • 1/2 Cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 Sambal oelek
  • Method: Add ingredients into a small bowl, stir to combine. 

 

Equipment

  • Wooden spoon
  • Large pot
  • Small pot
  • Baking paper
  • Sharp knife, non-serrated
  • 2 x sheet pans or baking trays

 

Method

  1. Cook the polenta to the method on the packet. 
  2. When the polenta has finished cooking, work quickly and add the parmesan and herbs, stir to combine. Don't let the polenta set.
  3. Line the sheet pan with baking paper, and immediately pour the polenta mixture onto the sheet pan or baking tray.
  4. Put the mixture into the freezer for at least 30 minutes to cool down and set.
  5. Preheat oven to 200C and make sure you are preheating the sheet pan as well. This is really important. 
  6. Take the polenta out of the freezer, and using a knife cut the polenta into chips. 
  7. Take the hot sheet pan out of the oven, spray liberally with olive oil and carefully place your chips onto the tray. The tray should be really hot so when you place the chips down, they will sizzle - this is good. Spray the chips liberally again with more olive oil spray. Tip: Careful not to break the polenta chips and to make sure the chips are evenly spaced out on the tray and not touching each other. 
  8. Place the chips into the oven and let it cook for 15 to 30 minutes. Take the chips out of the oven, flip the over and cook again for a further 15 minutes until they are golden and crunchy.
  9. While the chips are baking, prepare your salt and mayos. 
  10. When the chips are ready, place them into a bowl, sprinkle with Crispy Sage Leaf Salt and serve straight away. My baked polenta chips are creamy and ultra mouth watering served straight from the oven.

 

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