There is something divine about the texture of polenta and a full-flavoured sauce on a cold autumn or winter's night. These versatile chips can also be grilled or roasted in the oven.
1 cup full-cream milk
1 cup chicken stock
1⁄2 tsp sea salt, approximately
2⁄3 cup polenta, plus extra for coating
1⁄2 cup grated fontina
40g unsalted butter, chopped
freshly ground pepper
vegetable oil, for frying
1. Lightly grease and line a roasting tin with baking paper.
2. Bring milk, stock and salt to scalding point in large pan. Gradually add the polenta to the milk mixture, stirring with a whisk the entire time. Simmer, stirring over very low heat for about 35 minutes or until the polenta is very thick and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the pan. Remove polenta from the heat, stir in fontina, butter and a good grind of pepper. Adjust seasoning as needed. Spread the polenta immediately into the prepared tin, making sure the top is nice and even. Cool slightly, cover and refrigerate for about three hours or until firm.
3. Turn polenta out of tin. Trim edges and cut into thick chips, about one-and-a-half to two centimetres. Coat chips in extra polenta to create a crisp exterior.
4. Preheat oven to 120C to keep finished chips warm while frying in batches.
5. Using a deep, wide, heavy based saucepan, fill with oil and heat to 180C. Carefully fry the polenta in batches (for about four to five minutes) and drain on paper towels. Reheat the oil to 180C in between batches and place the batches of chips in the oven to stay warm.
6. Serve in a large, deep share bowl and sprinkle with plenty of sea-salt crystals.
* The chips will be easier to cut and fry if you make the polenta the day before