Herbed Polenta Fries with Mushroom & Artichoke Fricassée

What do you eat when you’re alone? You know, those nights when you may be dining solo, when you don’t really “need” to cook for someone? We all have those meals. There are some nights when all I really want to eat is a big…

Herbed Polenta Fries with Mushroom & Artichoke Fricassée

What do you eat when you’re alone? You know, those nights when you may be dining solo, when you don’t really “need” to cook for someone? We all have those meals. There are some nights when all I really want to eat is a big plate full of fresh fruit, creamy, stinky cheeses and a hunk of bread. I know friends who may opt for the pancakes-for-dinner route. Or even breakfast cereal. It’s okay, we all have those nights.

I think I found something else that fits the bill. It’s not exactly a dish that takes the easy way out of cooking, and technically, it is an appetizer. But if you hear me out, you might find yourself wishing this for dinner, too.

A few weeks ago, I was reacquainting myself with the keenly missed Gourmet; now that I have an iPad (yay!), I am thrilled to explore this old favorite in its stunning, shiny, new format. I happened across a recipe for Herbed Polenta “Fries” – one glance and I knew I had to try it. Creamy on the inside, but crunchy on the outside, these polenta fries get their perfect texture from broiling. I made a similar version several weeks ago when I catered a little event; formed as little cakes, each were topped with my Beer Braised Short Ribs – it was, apparently, the favorite. But last night, I wanted to make them in their “French fry” form, to go with a Mushroom & Artichoke Fricassée.

What really makes these polenta fries special are all the fresh herbs infused within the creaminess.

I found myself noshing away on this sophisticated, yet rustic, comfort food, and found my little ones happily munching away on the fries, too. My daughter was eager to top hers with the mushrooms she grew (Ah, that reminds me! If you haven’t yet entered to win a Back to the Roots Mushroom Kit, I hope you do!) – her little harvest of mushrooms worked quite nicely in this fricasée. Fruit and cheese rounded out the meal for me, making this crowd pleaser the perfect dinner.

I guess I’m an appetizer-for-dinner kind of gal. How about you?

Herbed Polenta Fries with Mushroom & Artichoke Fricassée

Serves 4 to 6.


Herbed Polenta Fries

For recipe, please see Gourmet, January 2009.

Mushroom & Artichoke Fricasée

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cups mushrooms (an assortment works nicely), thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 artichoke hearts, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme


In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until they are wilted. Add the garlic, artichoke hearts, fish sauce and black pepper. Cook for another minute. Stir in the lemon juice and white wine. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in fresh thyme. Serve immediately with Herbed Polenta Fries.


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  1. Cristina, from BA to Paris

    This post is a work of art, in all senses…I think I’m going to adopt (with your permission) this polenta fries recipe for my ©Menu Malbec !
    On solo nights, I’m a cheese, bread AND wine girl (well, with a bit of salad too!)

    • Liren

      Cristina, this would be lovely for your Menu Malbec! I hope you do! Oh, and yes, I am SO with you on the wine, too. A perfect way to spend a solo evening :)

  2. Monet

    I’ve done many bowls of cereal when I’m eating alone :-) But these fries? They look delicious, my friend, but with you…I’m not surprised! Thank you for sharing another delicious eat. I hope you have a blessed Saturday. I’m off to celebrate my grandparent’s 60th! Much love.

  3. kankana

    I started eating polenta only sometime beginning this year and from the frist bite till today .. i have always loved it . It’s now my fav comforting meal :) These polenta bites would be a great party bite too!

  4. Emme @Food Samba

    Looks delicious! I love polenta fries. Sounds like a perfect combination with the mushroom fricassee. I’ve been on a mushroom kick for the past couple of weeks…yumm!

  5. spcookiequeen

    These look go good I make polenta all the time, but never tried it in a fry format, btw I do love fries. I’ve been meaning to get over here for a couple a days and tell you what a good mommy you are I saw you iron the kids shirts, for the record I’ll only do that for a wedding. Hope you have a great weekend.

  6. Ann

    Oh, that is amazing! I LOVE polenta and mushrooms…and your photos are a feast for the eyes! What a great meal!

  7. Patty

    Love your herbs! These polenta fries are a real comfort food and you’ve created a highly edible arrangement here with your mushroom artichoke fricassee;-)

  8. Lacy

    Wow this looks like one amazing dish! The combo of herbed polenta fries & fricassee sounds really so delicious, I am definitely trying this one out!

  9. Rosa

    A beautiful combination and dish! Those fries are so tempting and the mushroom fricassée is just so mouthwatering-looking.



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