Freeze-dried corn is a pet ingredient of Dufresne’s. “It has the true sweetness of corn before the sugar converts to starch after the corn is picked,” he says. Dufresne uses it to amp up the corn flavor in corn bread, hush puppies and the polenta here, which he fries until crisp outside and creamy within. Slideshow:  More Corn RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 

Wylie Dufresne


Credit: © Chris Court

Recipe Summary

15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a food processor, pulse the corn until a powder forms. Transfer to a bowl.

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Whisk in the corn powder and salt and simmer over moderate heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Scrape the polenta into an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan lined with plastic wrap and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.

  • In a large, heavy saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil until it reaches 375° on a candy thermometer. Unmold the polenta and discard the plastic wrap. Cut the polenta into eight 1-inch-thick squares or rectangles. Working in batches, fry the polenta, turning once, just until golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.

Make Ahead

The polenta can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Freeze-dried corn is available at health-food stores and online at

Serve With

Chicken or duck, or topped with raw fish, cured meats or pickled vegetables as a canapé.