Polenta with Cheese (Mamaliga — Rumania)

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  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Swiss or Kashkaval cheese


  1. Mix cornmeal and 3/4 cup water in 2-quart saucepan. Stir in 3 1/4 cups water and the salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils; reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat; stir until smooth. Spread 1/3 of the mixture in greased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Dot with 1/3 of the butter; sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat twice. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Fried Cornmeal Mush
  • Omit butter and the grated Parmesan and Swiss cheeses. After cooking 10 minutes, spread in greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 12 hours. Invert pan to unmold; cut into 1/2-inch slices.

    Heat 2 tablespoons butter in skillet until melted. Coat slices with flour; cook uncovered in butter over low heat until brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with molasses, jam, maple syrup or sour cream if desired.