Archive for the 'kosher Romanian recipes' Category

08
Jul
11

Mamaliga, Mammelige!


I full well know that Jews were not the first to come up with this cornmeal dish, but among my earliest memories of my youth in Montevideo, Uruguay – from various relatives with Romanian spouses – was the aroma, the taste of Mamaliga (which some pronounced: mammelige)  I full well know that Mamaliga is not even a Yiddish name, yet there was also something very Jewish about the word, at least to my childhood mind, especially so, since my Italian friends’ mothers would call it polenta.

Elizabeth Wolf Cohen, in her Perfect Jewish, gives us the following recipe on page 154:

Romanian Mamaliga with Cheese

Serves 6 – 8
Cornmeal, made from maize  was introduced to Europe from the newly discovered Americas in the 16th century. Known as polenta in Italy, cornmeal became so popular in Romania that it was eaten as a porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal or polenta
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons butter or pareve margarine
  • 1 cup cottage cheese, drained and strained

Mamaliga, mammelige... polenta?

Directions 
Put the cornmeal and salt into a medium bowl and stir in 1 cup of the cold water and smooth. Bring to a large pan filled with 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Gradually pour the the wet cornmeal into the boiling water stirring to prevent any lumps forming. 
Cook stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the cornmeal forms a mushy porridge and the water is absorbed.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the strained cheese. Leave to stand for 1 minute. Stir and spoon into a serving bowl.
——)xoxox(——
Alternatively cook the cornmeal as above, reducing the water by 1 cup. Stir in only half the margarine and omit the cheese. Pour into a greased 9x5x3,5 inch loaf pan and leave to cool. Refrigerate, covered for 2 – 3 hours, or until firm and chilled.
Run a shar knife around the edges of the pan and unmold on to a cutting board. Cut into thin slices.
Heat the remaining butter in a large, heavy bottom skillet over medium-heat. Working in batches, add the cornmealslices and cook for 2 minutes, or until heated through  and crisp and golden. Carefully turn and cook for 1 minute more. Serve with roasted poultry or stew.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!
CS



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