It's a dish that can be eaten as a light main meal, but its quite neutral taste makes it suitable for being a perfect side dish for almost any food.
As for the taste, it's quite light and neutral, so it's often complemented with some stronger and more filling ingredients, such as cheese and meat.
A mush prepared in such way is called kachamak and it is very common food in the Balkan countries, with slight differences between regions.
So, to sum up: this cornmeal mush should not be confused with cornmeal porridge or polenta! :)
This is what you'll need:
- Put water and salt in a pot and bring it to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium and pour in cornmeal, but make sure it stays in a pile. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a hole in the center of the pile. This will prevent the liquid from boiling over. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and remove from fire. Do not stir during cooking!!!
- Now stir vigorously using a wooden spoon or even a hand mixer, until the mixture becomes smooth and free of lumps. At this point the dish will be still soft, but it will harden as it cools.
- Heat lard or oil into a small pot. Deep a spoon in it and scoop some of the mush. Put into a serving plate. Repeat the procedure as many times as needed until you shape the whole mush. At the end, drizzle the mush with the remaining hot fat, if any.
Serve plain or with some complements.
I, personally, prefer it when served with white brined cheese or sour cream.
Another very common way of serving it, especially in wintertime, is with chopped greaves. If you choose this option, stir the greaves into the mixture in step 2, and the rest of the procedure is the same.
Fresh salad and pickled vegetables also go great with it, especially to brighten up the greaves version.
Speaking about serving the dish reminds of something: another difference between cornmeal mush and cornmeal porridge. Namely, this cornmeal mush is savory and served with savory complements only, unlike the porridge which can be served with fruits and other sweet ingredients.
Hope you like this one as much as I do! :)
Enjoy and bon appétit!