Mamaliga with Shiitake Mushrooms – That Yellow Goodnesson April 23rd, 2013 Posted in Home Made Cooking
Directly from Wikipedia: Mămăligă is a porridge made out of yellow maize flour, traditional in Romania and Moldova. It is similar to the Italian polenta.
It so happened that I am apparently the luckiest girl in the world when it comes to Mamaliga. My dad is from Moldova and my in-laws are from Romania, how lucky am I? I get to taste every possible variation of this super awesome dish! Why is it awesome?
1. It’s so basic and easy to make
2. It goes well with almost everything; try it with your favorite topping
3. It tastes so good
4. It is gluten free
5. It brings back sweet childhood memories that I love so much
Ever since I can remember myself, my dad used to make us this special Mamaliga treat. He still does, only I’m not there all the time these days. He boils the water in a special rounded iron cast pot, adds the cornmeal and stirs it with his big wooden spoon. After he’s done (and he never takes shortcuts) he turns the pot upside down on a thick wooden cutting board and lifts it up. On the board remains this magnificent Mamaliga! Yellow, round and smells so good! Then he uses a sewing string to cut it into slices because if we use a knife it’ll stick. I always take two plates; the first one is a mamaliga slice topped with sour cream, grated cheese and salt and the second is my dessert, a slice topped with sour cream and sugar! I eat Mamaliga with the same toppings until this day and I just love it. It makes me smile when the kids ask for extras like mommy, it’s like it goes without saying that you need to have two plates of Mamaliga, one as main dish and one as dessert.
After I married my husband I got acquainted with the Romanian version of Mamaliga as well. That’s when I learned that you can have it with beef stew, potatoes, feta cheese, mushrooms and basically anything that comes to mind!
A few days ago, I noticed we still have a pack of Shiitake mushrooms in the fridge. It was very obvious to me how I’m going to use it.
- 6 Cups Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms (about 350gr)
- ½ Onion – Chopped
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- ½ Cup Hot Water
- ½ tsp Bouillon Soup Powder
- 1 tsp Red Wine
- 2 Cups Cornmeal
- 6 Cups Boiling Hot Water
- ½ tbsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Butter
- In a wok or a wide pot, preheat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion and mushrooms for about 8-9 minutes until mushrooms soften.
- Add in the salt, pepper, garlic powder and nutmeg and mix.
- Add in ¼ cup of the water (half of what you put aside) along with the bouillon powder and mix in.
- Add the remaining ¼ cup water and the wine, stir together for about 2 minutes (it will boil) and remove from heat.
- In a large pot, bring water to strong boil
- Make sure the heat is on Medium-High and gradually add in the cornmeal. Use a pitcher or a very large mug to gradually pour the cornmeal in while constantly stirring. If you don’t stir you will get lumps of cornmeal and that’s not good. You can also add in a little bit cornmeal and stir and then some more and so on. Be VERY careful because while the water is boiling with the cornmeal in it you can easily get burned.
- When you notice the mix is boiling and bubbling, lower to medium heat and continue stirring and adding in the remaining cornmeal.
- When the mix starts boiling again, lower to low heat.
- Stir for additional 4 minutes until cornmeal becomes a bit more solid.
- Add in the butter and stir until it melts.
- Serve on a plate with the mushrooms on top