Molten Mozzarella Polenta Fries

, from Issue #77. March, 2018
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Molten Mozzarella Polenta Fries

Flavourful polenta gets fried until golden and crispy, then flashed under the grill so the mozzarella forms a molten waterfall.

Serves: 4


2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or use water
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground fennel
good pinch chilli flakes
1 cup instant polenta
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
To finish
olive oil for cooking
250 grams fresh mozzarella in whey, drained and patted dry with kitchen towels
parmesan for grating
tomato relish to serve


Grease a 24cm square baking dish and fully line with baking paper.

Put the stock or water in a medium saucepan with the salt, garlic, fennel and chilli flakes. Bring to the boil then gradually drizzle in the polenta, whisking constantly until it comes to the boil and becomes very thick. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir in the parmesan.

Tip into the baking dish and spread to an even layer leaving the surface quite rough. Cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Polenta can be made 2 days ahead of finishing.

To finish: Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Tip the polenta on to the bench and cut into about 12 thick chips. Heat a generous amount of oil in a large sauté pan and cook the chips, in batches if needed, until a good golden colour on both sides. Drain on kitchen towels.

Stack 3 layers of hot chips, each topped with ripped mozzarella and a grating of parmesan, in an ovenproof sauté pan or baking dish. Place under the hot grill and cook until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately with tomato relish for dipping. Serves 4.