I think that this dish may possibly have the least appealing name of any breakfast food out there, but trust me, it really is tasty. I should probably call it Fried Polenta…that sounds much more delicious. My husband used to eat this when he was a kid, and this recipe is a combination of my mother-in-law’s instructions and a Better Homes and Gardens recipe.
Cornmeal mush is an exceedingly frugal food, but in its original state, it’s quite bland, and the texture definitely leaves a lot to be desired. However, when it’s cooled, sliced, and lightly fried, it’s transformed into something crispy, buttery, and flavorful (and it’s still really cheap!).
Since the cornmeal needs to be cooked and cooled ahead of time, you may want do steps 1-3 the night before so that all you have to do is fry the polenta in the morning. If you don’t have time to cook the whole batch, you can refrigerate the polenta for several days and fry it when you have time.
I use un-degerminated(whole) yellow cornmeal, but you can use regular cornmeal as well.
1 cup cornmeal
3 3/4 cups water, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Bring 2 3/4 cups water to boiling. Mix cornmeal and salt with 1 cup water, to make a sort of cornmeal slurry.
2. When the water comes to a boil, stir in the cornmeal slurry. Bring back to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until very thick. This is a bubbly mess while it’s cooking, so be sure to put a lid on your pot.
3. Pour the hot cornmeal mixture into an ungreased 4×6 inch loaf pan, and let cool for several hours.
4. When the cornmeal is completely cool, invert the pan onto a cutting board.
5. Heat a skillet over medium heat, and add a tablespoon or two of butter. Using a sharp knife, cut the cornmeal loaf into 1/4 inch thick slices, and lay them in the melted butter. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned. It’s nearly impossible to burn these at this point, since they have such a high water content.
6. Using a spatula, gently flip each piece and cook about 5 more minutes, or until they are light brown and relatively dry and crispy, adding more butter as necessary to keep the pieces from sticking.
I think these are very tasty as is, but they’re even better with butter and syrup(naturally). Enjoy!
You may also be interested in my other breakfast recipes: