The peasant food Polenta with its smooth, creamy texture is so simple yet versatile. Polenta is mostly known for its pivotal role in savory recipes where it can be a wonderful side dish to rabbit, sausages and veggies or a meal in itself, topped with some tomato meat sauce.
Tasty Recipes For Polenta
Mamaliga is a yellow maize flour mush that is traditionally a Romanian dish and mostly the poor man’s staple. The amount of water mentioned in the recipe can be doubled for getting softer consistency porridge. The traditional cooking vessel used is a cast-iron pot and after this stage it can sliced off and used in place of bread.
Preparation Time- 10 minutes
Cooking Time- 40 minutes
Total Time- 50 minutes
Yellow cornmeal flour (160 grams)
Salt (half teaspoon)
Water for boiling (950 millilitres)
Cottage cheese, mashed (90 grams)
Feta cheese, grated (135 grams)
Add cornmeal in a measured steady stream into a large saucepan containing boiling water to ensure proper mixing and there are no lumps forming during the process. Once you notice that the mixture has begun to thicken then sprinkle in the salt. Reduce the flame to low setting and keep whisking till the entire cornmeal is used up and the polenta starts to pull from the sides of the vessel.
At this stage we add the duo types of cheeses for added flavour and creaminess and beat properly. Garnish with chopped parsley and sour cream. Your delicious creamy Mamaliga is ready to serve in just thirty to forty minutes.
There’s no better way to re-utilize used polenta than to cut it into varying shapes and deep-fry them till they are really crisp, golden brown. These little pieces of heaven are fondly dubbed as polenta fritta.
Preparation Time- 10 minutes
Cooking Time- 50 minutes
Total Time- 60 minutes
Polenta or cornmeal flour (six hundred grams)
Tepid Water (1 ½ litres)
Simmering stock of chicken, beef or vegetable (two litres)
All purpose flour (for dipping)
Begin by slowly adding the cornmeal flour (a little at a time) to the tepid water placed in a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil. Constantly stir with a whisker for the entire time period of forty minutes to cook the polenta.
Once all the flour is added and mixed well into the 1.5 litres of water and the mixture drops in clumps from the whisker into the pot then we start adding ladlefuls of the stock into it whilst continually stirring. Don some mittens at this point as the simmering polenta tends to bubble and spit up like a hot volcano.
A creamy, smooth consistency is desirable at all times and once the mixture begins to thicken then add a ladleful of the stock into the pot and continue mixing. Repeat this till the entire two litres of stock is consumed.
No sooner has the mixture cooked for forty minutes then remove it from the flame and serve immediately on a plate or a wooden board before it starts to cool down and thicken. We can drizzle on the tomato meat sauce and grated parmesan cheese over the warm polenta and eat it instantly or a batch of it can be refrigerated or allowed to return to room temperature for hardening it.
The stored polenta can now be diced into medium-sized slivers, each measuring about one centimeter in thickness. Dip the diced pieces in flour for evenly and thoroughly coating them and then set aside. Do this step just before the frying process or else the flour would absorb most of the moisture from the polenta and then fall off while frying.
Ensure the oil is really hot when we begin frying to get a nice crust and lesser oil being absorbed by the pieces during the process. Place them on absorbent paper and serve with broccoli sautéed with garlic and olive oil. Enjoy.