Mămăligă Cu Smăntănă (Romanian Polenta with Sour Cream)

This polenta-like pudding, a staple across Romania, has a firm texture and a briny flavor from a salty, feta-like cheese mixed in at the end of cooking. A topping of more cheese and sour cream makes this a satisfying side dish. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue with Alexander Lobrano’s article Eternal Terrain.

Mămăligă Cu Smăntănă (Romanian Polenta with Sour Cream) Mămăligă Cu Smăntănă (Romanian Polenta with Sour Cream)
This polenta-like pudding, a staple across Romania, has a firm texture and a briny flavor from a salty, feta-like cheese mixed in at the end of cooking. A topping of more cheese and sour cream makes this a satisfying side dish.
Yield: serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 2 cups quick-cooking cornmeal
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream

Instructions

  1. Bring milk and butter to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat. Whisking constantly, add corn meal and salt and pepper, and cook until thickened and corn meal is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in half the feta, and then transfer to a greased 9″ pie dish; let cool until set, about 5 minutes. Top with remaining feta, and garnish with sour cream before serving.