Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday: Yo mama(liga)

Mamaliga with roasted beets and dill garnish.

You might better know "mamaliga" by the name polenta, which is the Italian iteration of this creamy food. Mamaliga/polenta is ground cornmeal cooked in liquid (typically water, or sometimes milk) until it reaches a final texture which can range from creamy-soft to stiff and cakelike. Cooled pieces of hard polenta can also be fried or broiled.

Lizz first encountered mamaliga on a trip to Moldova, where it may have been served with some type of cheese or cream folded in. Whatever it was, it was rich and comforting. Mamaliga is also made in Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and we couldn't find a consensus recipe on the internet, so there seems to be some variation in its preparation across the region. Here, we cooked our cornmeal with milk and then stirred in crumbled pieces of Bulgarian feta when it had reached our desired texture. (We left this mamaliga quite soft.)

The beets were just roasted, and we topped it all off with some chopped dill. We considered calling this "deconstructed borscht" and charging you all $15, but thought better of it at the last minute.

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