Growing up in Romania, the polenta was a fundamental dish at every traditional table.
I developed over the years my own variations but ultimately I return to the classic recipe which I am proud to share with you below.
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 350 gr maize (ground corn kernels)
- 100 ml whole milk
- about 500 ml water
- pinch of salt
- 50 gr sour cream
- 1 egg
- fresh sheep cheese
To make is super simple:
Add water + milk + salt in a soup pot and let it simmer. Once bubbles start forming add your maize little by little and keep mixing as you add the layers. Use a wooden spoon for better mixing.
Once combined, let the mixture simmer and bring to a boil on medium heat. Watch over the pot as bubbles will start forming and the mixture will start thickening. Let it boil at light-medium heat for 20 minutes or until the maize is cooked.
Once the polenta got the right thick consistency, place your wooden spoon in the middle of your pot and using the palms of your hands start rubbing the palms together with the wooden spoon in the middle. This effect will add air inside the polenta and make it fluffy. This Romanian trick was used by my grannies and mom and it really works.
Remove from heat, turn the contents of the pot in a large serving dish. Divide in smaller plates / bowls and serve with sour cream, soft boiled egg, grated fresh sheep cheese and a sprinkle of chives. And please enjoy!
This is served for breakfast or lunch and sometimes even as appetizer for dinner.
For me this is the perfect example of real Romanian comfort food!
The polenta can also be served the following day, after it’s been cooled and covered overnight with a clean towel slightly damped. Cut it into pieces and grill it in a grilling pan. Serve with baked garlicky cherry tomatos and thyme! Yum!!! This is more of an Italian version.
You can download this recipe here: Romanian Polenta
Photos by @Keychn