Friday, July 24, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Cornbread and Polenta, Maltese Style


A few days ago I posted the recipe for Ma’s Barbecued Pork Side Ribs.
The post also included the recipe for her barbecue sauce.
I mentioned that I would serve it with a salad and cornbread.

Got an e mail… 
I should’ve included the recipe for the cornbread.


A couple of years ago I posted the recipe for Carmela Soprano's Salmon Steaks with Avocado Salsa.
I mentioned that cornbread would be good with it.
I guess no one tried my suggestion for Carmela's salmon dinner, because I didn’t get any requests for the cornbread recipe.


Cornbread is not a Maltese recipe.
It’s a quick bread that contains cornmeal and is leavened with baking powder.
Since it doesn’t have yeast in it, it doesn’t need to rise.
If you’ve made muffins, you know how to make cornbread.

I don’t know where Ma got her recipe for cornbread.
She already had cornmeal in the kitchen.
Sometimes, as a change from pasta or rice, she used the cornmeal to make polenta.
Most of the time she served the polenta straight from the pot, as is. 
Sometimes she poured it into a greased pan and baked it to make a bread. 
She also served the leftovers by slicing the baked bread and frying the slices.
She thought cornbread was easy to make.

About the cornbread…
Don’t get annoyed if the family doesn’t finish it at one sitting.
You can crumble the dry bread and use it in poultry stuffing.


                        Cornbread 

grease an 8 inch square pan
preheat oven to 350º F
Bake 45 minutes

Combine in a small bowl
1 Cup cornmeal
1/2 Cup milk
Set aside.

Combine in a small bowl 
1 1/4 Cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Combine in a measuring cup
1 Cup milk
1 large egg

Place in a medium bowl
1/2 Cup shortening
Beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in
1/2 Cup sugar
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the liquid (3 dry and 2 liquid).
Blend in the cornmeal mix.
Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake 45 minutes.
Cool bread in the pan 5 minutes.
Turn out and serve hot.
It can be sliced and served with butter, as any bread.
It can also be sliced thinly and served with syrup and butter, like pancakes.


                        Polenta

Place in a medium pot
4 Cups water
Bring to a boil.
Add
1 teaspoon salt
Gradually stir in 
1 Cup cornmeal
Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Serve hot.

As a breakfast cereal polenta can be served in a bowl with milk and butter.
If you made it for dinner, it’s like serving mashed potatoes.
You can top polenta with butter, or gravy, or a sauce.

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