Oven 350 degrees
This is a three-way recipe: Serve it as a cereal with wild rice milk; bake, cut into wedges, and top with sauce or syrup for polenta; or slice, fry, and eat as is - or with maple syrup.
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup cold water
1. In a saucepan bring 2 ¾ cups water to boiling. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine cornmeal, the 1 cup cold water and ½ teaspoon salt.
2. Slowly add cornmeal mixture to boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir till mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or till mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally.
3. Pour hot mixture into a 9-inch pie plate; spread into even layer. Cool; cover and chill about 30 minutes or till firm. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 20 minutes or till hot. Cut into wedges. If desired, serve hot with maple syrup and a little sunflower oil. Also may be topped w/ roasted (in maple syrup and salt) pecans, wild berries or berry sauce.
Variation: Fold semi-thawed frozen blueberries into hot mixture before pouring into pie plate. After baking, drizzle a little sunflower oil on it and sweeten with maple syrup. Minwaagamin – tastes good!
Prepare as above, except do not transfer cooked mixture to pie plate. If desired, serve hot with manoomin (wild rice) milk, sunflower oil, maple syrup or maple sugar and miinan (blueberries) to make ‘Nish’ Porridge.
Fried Cornmeal Mush
Prepare as above, except pour hot mixture into a 7½x3½x2-inch glass loaf pan. Cool, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight. Turn out of the pan and cut mush into ½-inch-thick slices. In a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons sunflower oil over medium heat. Add 5 slices of mush and fry for 10 to 12 minutes on each side or till brown and crisp. Repeat with remaining slices. If desired, serve with maple syrup.
Variations: You may add any ingredients you have on hand (and you think would taste good) before the chilling stage. To make ‘Nish’ Fried Polenta, add cooked wild rice, and dried wild leeks or wild leek salt to hot mixture before pouring in pan to cool and chill. Sliced in wide French fry-size and fried they could be called ‘Manoomin Fries.’ (Seriously, I think this could be a hit at the powwow food vendor stand.)
This recipe is adapted from: Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook (copyright, 1996). Revised for DDP by Barb Bradley.