As some of you may know, I was actually born across the ocean in Romania, and in Bucharest to be specific. It’s a beautiful city, nestled in a breathtaking and enchanting country, and even though I left for Canada at a young age, I still have many vivid memories of Romania, and it’s definitely a part of my identity. The city was beautiful, and within about 2 hours of driving we could either be on the beaches of the Black Sea or in the gorgeous Carpathian Mountains, I love that. So, in little ways I like to keep that part alive and kicking, and feel more connected to my heritage. One of these ways is the classic, simple meal of mamaliga. It’s basically soft polenta, and pretty much every Romanian goes gaga over it, especially if they’ve left the country.
Now there are many ways to enjoy mamaliga. Some people cook it up into a firm loaf, which you can slice and basically use as cornbread, but I’ve always liked it soft. That way you can layer it nicely with cheese, meats, even top it with a fried egg! Or the simplest route of all, the way I had it most often growing up, plain, served with butter, grated feta, and sour cream on the side for mixing in.
Alright, enough chit-chat – let’s get cooking!
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 7 cups water (more for softer mamaliga, less for firmer)
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- Using a saucepan, dissolve salt in water, and bring to a boil on stovetop.
- Pour in cornmeal slowly, while stirring/whisking quickly at the same time – this is really important to avoid lumps.
- Keep stirring, and once you notice the cornmeal sort of “lifting” itself off the sides of the pot, you are done. It should have the consistency of porridge.
- Remove from heat, and serve using method of choice.
- (My serving method of choice) Pour half smoothly into a casserole or serving dish, top with grated feta cheese and crumbled bacon. Pour the other half smoothly on, and top with grated feta cheese and more crumbled bacon. Place in oven at around 300 for 5-7 minutes, until cheese starts to melt. Let cool for several minutes, serve.
I love doing the layered version using meat and grated feta cheese, and it is fantastic for a big breakfast/brunch. Usually, I’d fry up some sausage, or use crumbled bacon for a Canadian twist. Yum! For cute individual servings, I do the layering in a bowl. And to really make it amazing, I like to top it with a fried egg, just for some extra joy and gooey deliciousness.
Check out a picture below *drool*.
Share your classic breakfast recipes with me, or like me, do you have a more unusual favourite breakfast?