[Sca-cooks] OT: Polish food in the UK

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Thu Jan 4 11:32:57 PST 2007

On Jan 4, 2007, at 1:21 PM, silverr0se at aol.com wrote:

> Well, mamaliga is a favorite of the Rumanian half of my family. My  
> great aunt (unfortunately now deceased)was the family champion at  
> mamaliga-making. I have been nagging, er, ASKing her daughter to  
> share the secret recipe with me.
> Renata

Well, until you get it, you can try this one from Paul Kovi's  
"Transylvanian Cuisine":


1 quart water
2 cups cornmeal
1 Tbs salt

Boil the water in a pot and add the salt. When the water has reached  
a rapid boil, pour in the cornmeal slowly, stirring constantly. Cook  
over low heat for 20 minutes.

Remove pot from heat, wrap a dish towel around it, and stir  
vigorously for 3 to 4 minutes.

With a wet spatula, scrape the cornmeal away from the sides of the  
pot, Continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes over low heat. Turn  
the pot upside down over a wooden board and remove the cornmeal in  
one piece. It will look like a small, round, and flat bread.

Holding the ends of a thin white string in each hand, cut the  
cornmeal into slices.


Mamaliga Layered With Sheep Cheese: Grease an oven-proof casserole  
(preferably with a thick bottom) with 1 Tbs rendered lard. Then line  
it with a layer of mamaliga as prepared above. Fry 3 1/2 ounces diced  
bacon until crisp and drain on paper towel. Arrange a payer of bacon  
and a layer of crumbled young cottage-type sheep cheese (for a total  
of 11 ounces) on top of the cornmeal. Repeat the layers until the  
ingredients are used up, making the top layer mamaliga. Bake in a  
preheated, moderately hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

This cornmeal dish can be served as a meal in itself. In the summer,  
however, a molded salad goes very well with the dish*. Cracklings may  
be substituted for bacon. In some Transylvanian regions, sour cream  
is used to cover each layer; a total of 1 cup sour cream should be  

NOTE: Mamaliga, a favorite Rumanian staple, is a light and healthful  
dish when served with milk, cottage cheese, stews, or ragouts. Use it  
to replace bread and other garnshes with meat dishes."

*NOTE: when Kovi says "molded salad", I'm almost certain lime Jell-O  
is not involved ;-).

Hey, sure sounds a lot like polenta to me... there also appear to be  
several books by George Lang with various mamaliga recipes.

The funky pumpkin-phyllo pastry referenced in the article is  
something for which I believe we published a recipe in my son's  
elementary school cookbook several years ago, and got kids to bring  
recipes from home; it was one of those situations where the recipe  
didn't make it abundantly clear what the end product was supposed to  
look like, and I had to edit everything for clarity without  
sacrificing any more of the children's and grandma's text than  
absolutely necessary. Finally I hit myself in the head and said,  
"Oooooooh, this is supposed to be like an unsweetened _strudel_...  
okay, I can talk about that..."


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

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