Starting out fresh with a new year means the opportunity for new experiences, new relationships and taking an occasional risk now and then. One of the best ways to do this is by trying a new food and broadening your palate just a bit.
Of course, there is nothing new about corn; It’s probably one of the few veggies that everyone in the family will actually eat. Now combine the best of that creamy corn flavor with a crispy, exterior and some salty/sweet/creamy toppings and you’ve got the makings of a wonderful appetizer, snack or even a meatless meal.
These crispy corncakes, also commonly known as fried mush, are economical to make and date back as far as colonial times.
During the Civil War, troops often ate it while they were traveling and they were short on both supplies and time.
If you’re from the Southern part of the country, you probably grew up eating fried mush for breakfast with maple syrup or just slathered with butter.
This frugal delicacy is an economical choice because it is made with only cornmeal and water or occasionally milk. The mixture is boiled together until it becomes thick and is then allowed to chill until it becomes solid. From there, it can be sliced, fried and used for everything from a traditional breakfast food to a crispy catalyst for many other flavors and textures.
Crispy Corn cakes with Bleu Cheese and Honey
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3 1/2 cups cold water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Crumbled bleu cheese
Lightly spray an 8x4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a medium sized bowl, combine cornmeal, 1 cup of cold water and salt.
In a saucepan, heat remaining 2 ½ cups water to boiling. Gradually, stir the cornmeal mixture into the boiling water. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture is very thick.
Pour into prepared pan. Cool to room temp; then cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to prepare…
Run a butter knife around sides of pan to loosen polenta. Invert onto a cutting board and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices and then cut slices in half again, forming squares.
Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add a little oil or cooking spray to the pan. When the pan is very hot, add polenta and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned and cripsys on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Place three or four slices on plate. Sprinkle with bleu cheese and drizzle with honey.
Makes 8-10 servings