Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mamaliga and Beans

Mamaliga is the Romanian equivalent of Polenta, which is the Italian equivalent to thecorn meal mush my dad and Mema used to make me as a kid. It is used as a starch, an alternative to rice or bread. R's mom showed me how to make it quickly in the microwave, but I prefer my version on the stovetop.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens "Polenta and Beans"
Yeild 4 servings

2 cups water
1 cup milk
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp butter
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup bottled salsa with cilantro or other salsa
3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (3 ounces)

1.For mamaliga, in a large saucepan bring the 2 cups of water and 1 cup milk to boiling. In a medium bowl combine cornmeal, the 1 cup water, and salt. Stir cornmeal mixture slowly into the boiling water. Add garlic and butter. Cook and stir until mixture comes to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally. If you can spin your spoon around in the middle, take it out,  and see the bottom of the pot for about 5 seconds, its thick enough.

2.Meanwhile, in a large skillet combine the beans, undrained tomatoes, and salsa. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir 1/2 cup of the cheese into the polenta. Divide mamaliga among four shallow bowls. Top with the bean mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

I like to serve with a grilled chicken breast, but this can also be a vegetarian entree.


  1. Cute blog! I have a similar fiance vs. vegetables issue. =) Question for you about it supposed to be gritty/mushy? I made a stuffed poblano recipe the other week and the cornmeal was the only part I didn't like.
    (it's lovethebeach from theknot, by the way)

  2. The consistency should be firmish & creamy. If it's gritty, add mote milk &/or water and cook longer. It should not be runny at all. I'll post a picture when I make it so you can see what I mean.