Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Milho Frito "Fried Cornmeal"

Recipe by Paula.

This dish is based on the original recipe from the Portuguese island of Madeira. There they use white cornmeal and instead of herbs they use finely shredded kale. This is my version. I like the added flavour of the herbs and the bright colour of the yellow cornmeal. Basil is my favourite herb in this dish but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. I serve this with my Lemon, Garlic & Parsley Aioli. Make lots because these little bites are addictive. :) Enjoy!

Serve: 6-8

6 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1 1/2 cups cornmeal (white or yellow)
3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (thyme, basil, parsley)
vegetable oil for frying

1. In a large pot, add water, oil, garlic and salt. Bring the water to a boil.

2. When the water is boiling, slowly whisk in the cornmeal in a steady stream. Once the cornmeal is added, switch to a wooden spoon and reduce the temperature to a simmer. Keep stirring for about 15-20 minutes until the cornmeal thickens and starts to pull away from the sides.

3. Add the herbs and continue to stir for another 5 minutes.

4. Pour the cooked cornmeal into a greased flat-bottomed 9 x 11 glass dish. Spread the cornmeal evenly and smooth out the surface. Allow the cornmeal to cool down to room temperature and firm up. This should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. At this point you can cover and refrigerate the cornmeal until you're ready to use it. Just make sure to bring the cornmeal back up to room temperature before frying.

5. Cut the cornmeal into cubes, rounds, sticks or whatever shape you desire. I like cubes.

6. To a frying pan, add about a 1/2 inch of oil and heat it to medium high. Fry the cornmeal cubes in batches for about 3-5 minutes a side or until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Make sure the oil remains hot or the cubes will stick to the bottom of the pan.

7. Remove the cubes to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain any excess oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve immediately.