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Tomato Cornmeal Cakes | Djenkoume

Even grownups need to build sandcastles from time to time. The urge comes from deep within our hearts – some far away love for fantasy, perhaps formed in childhood. Today, we’re listening to our inner child; we’re making edible sandcastles… from Togo. At least, that’s what I’m calling them. If you want to be a serious adult, you can call them cornmeal cakes. In Togo, corn is everything, ever. Sometimes it is served as porridge. And sometimes it’s served as Djenkoume, a.k.a. cornmeal cakes, a.k.a. edible sand castles. Djenkoume is a cornmeal, tomato, and red palm oil corn cake, rather like polenta. But there’s so much more about the dish… there’s onion, garlic, and ginger in the mix.  And a mound of homemade, spiced tomato sauce. Hello. How could that not be wonderful? Friends, sometimes, I wonder if I’m really going to be able to find a dish I like in every country in the world. So far, I’ve had 100% success rate, and it’s not just because I’m fairly open minded.  It’s also because there …

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Paraguayan Cheesy Cornbread | Sopa Paraguaya

Rumor has it, no meal is complete in Paraguay without a slice of warm, cheesy cornbread. While sopa means soup in Spanish, this is definitely bread and… traditionally, all mixed up with a happy bundle of homemade cheese. One of our readers – Emily – says everyone in Paraguay makes their own cheese so that this would be no big deal to a local. I read up on the origins of this bread… there are two main versions. In the first version, Don Carlos ( President of Paraguay from 1842-62) requested his favorite white soup for dinner – one made with cheese, egg, corn flour, and loads of milk. One day the chef put too much corn flour in the soup and decided to bake it up as bread in cast iron. The new dish became a hit and Don Carlos dubbed it Sopa Paraguaya. Here’s the second story, from Wikipedia: In ancient times, this food was made with fresh corn and cooked in the “ñaúpyvú” (clay pot), not in the oven “modern” inherited from the …

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Mamaliga

I’ve done it standing in front of my refrigerator at midnight. I’ve done it at 8:30 in the morning, right after eating a complete breakfast. I’ve even done it in celebration of eating all my veggies. I fill my belly with bowlfuls of carbs – pasta, bread, potatoes, or rice – it really doesn’t matter. Simply put: I’m carb crazy. Enter Mamaliga, Moldova’s favorite side dish (and Romania’s, too). Carb-tastic. This thick, dense polenta is made with corn meal (the coarser the better), water, and a bit of butter to make it slip-slide out of the bowl you set it in. Traditionally Mamaliga is sliced into slabs with a string or fishing line. Traditionally, you’d serve it with sour cream and cheese, and it is much appreciated on the side of nearly any dish, especially the locally adored sour soups (like borscht [recipe]). So, friends, join me on the fast train to Moldova with Mamaliga. I’ll save you a seat. Serves 3-4 Ingredients: 3 cups of water 1 cup of yellow cornmeal (medium or coarse grind, …

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Caribbean Dumplings | Spinners & Sinkers

Makes about 10 Perhaps you’ve had a rough week. Perhaps you need a little comfort. The time is right… come over my friends; let’s make a batch of Spinners & Sinkers. I thought I knew what a dumpling was until I met a batch of Caribbean Spinners and Sinkers. They don’t look like any dumpling I’ve ever had. They are long and gently tapered, which causes them to sink and spin and dance while they cook in simmering water. Traditional dumplings just bob and float. Spinners and Sinkers are also incredibly easy to make – an ideal activity for children – and, in my opinion, quicker to throw together than a traditional dumpling. They are dense and substantial – add them to soups and stews, such as Oil Down and your belly will be quite pleased with you. Recipe adapted from The World Cookbook for Students. Ingredients: 1 cup flour 1/4 cornmeal 1/2 tsp salt warm water, as needed Method: To make a fresh batch of comfort, start by mixing together the flour and cornmeal …

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Ecuadorian Open-Faced Cornmeal Omelet with Cheese

I’m not sure what Saturday morning breakfast looks like at your house but make me one promise… some Saturday soon… whip up one of these crazy open-faced cornmeal omelets.  Tip: make life easier on yourself and cook up the cornmeal with dinner, the night before. Happiness is just two eggs away! Serves 1 For the omelet: 1 tablespoon butter 1/8 cup green onion 2 eggs 1/2 cup cooked cornmeal 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro 1/4 cup shredded cheese (monterey jack and cheddar blend) Garnishes: Shredded cheese Cilantro Green onion Method: Whisk eggs together with cooked cornmeal. Add in the cheese, cilantro, green onions, salt, and pepper. Melt butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Trust me on the non-stick part. I tried to make this in a regular pan and it stuck like crazy. When the butter is sizzling, pour in the egg mixture. Cover and cook gently. The goal is for the top to be cooked before the bottom burns. Gentle heat is your answer. Sprinkle with cheese and let melt. Cover again if …

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Cornmeal Pap

Serves 2-4 In Botswana, Cornmeal Pap is eaten with the fingers, dipped into stews to pick up additional flavor. Like soft polenta, Cornmeal Pap goes well with any stewed meat or vegetable. The mixture stiffens up quickly, however, so serve immediately after cooking. NOTE: Please use white cornmeal for authentic pap. (I had to substitute yellow) Ingredients: 1 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind is best) 1 quart broth (vegetable, chicken, or beef) salt pepper Method: 1. In a medium pot, bring stock to a boil. 2. Stream in cornmeal slowly. Whisk continually to keep mixture from lumping. 3. As mixture thickens, you may need to switch to a wooden spoon. Allow to simmer gently until cooked to desired consistency, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (Pap stiffens up considerably as it cools). Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe In Botswana, Cornmeal Pap is eaten with the fingers, dipped into stews to pick up additional flavor. Like soft polenta, Cornmeal Pap goes well with any stewed meat or …

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Albanian Cornbread

Serves 6-8 The cheese and green onion make this cornbread unique. Dense and flavorful, the cornbread makes a great accompaniment to stews. Ingredients: 1-1/2 cups cornmeal 16 ounces cottage cheese 4 eggs 1 cup chopped scallions, plus 1 Tbsp for garnish 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted 1/4 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp thyme 4 ounces feta cheese, chunked 1/4 tsp salt Method: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8″ square casserole. 2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (cornmeal, cottage cheese, eggs, scallions, melted butter, paprika, thyme, feta, and salt. 3. Pour into prepared casserole and spread evenly. 4. Bake at 400F until lightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes. 5. Garnish with remaining scallions. Serve warm. NOTE: This dish was excellent warm, but dries out quickly. On 3/27/12 I adjusted the recipe for more moisture. The first time we gave the little we had leftover to the birds. After the adjustments, even leftovers were moist and yummy. Adapted from Home Cooking Around the World, by David Ricketts and Mark Thomas Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: …

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