Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cornmeal Cuban Style

Harina de Maiz was a staple food during my husband's childhood growing up in Cuba.  He actually had this for lunch every day for months, it was the only thing available.  Once in a while, if he got lucky, they would put a fried egg in it, otherwise it was bland and tasteless due to a scarcity of ingredients.  Even though the circumstances were not the best this dish still manages to bring back warm memories for him.

Cornmeal, when cooked as in the recipe below, is savory and has a consistency somewhere in between a creamy polenta and grits.   You can eat it alone or as a side dish.  It can be cooked with crab legs, pork, or you can even mix it with picadillo.  There is a sweet version also, but that will be a post for another day.

Harina De Maiz - Cornmeal Cuban Style

1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion (diced)*
4  garlic cloves (minced)*
1 medium green pepper (diced)*
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce 
12 oz bag of coarse yellow cornmeal 
1-2 tablespoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
6 cups of water

*Process the onion, garlic, and green pepper in a food processor for a smoother consistency.

Saute the onion, garlic, and green pepper mixture in olive oil in a large heavy pot.  When the onion is translucent add the tomato sauce, cornmeal, salt,  and pepper.  Mix all the ingredients and gradually add the water one cup at a time while stirring frequently. Cook at medium heat and them immediately reduce the heat to low once it begins to thicken. Continue to cook for about 45 minutes to an hour on low heat.  Cover but stir every 10 minutes or so to avoid sticking.  Add water if needed 1/2 cup at a time until the grain is soft to the bite like grits.  Serve while hot.  Serves 6 -8


Kathy said... Best Blogger Tips

I love cornmeal...I bet this is really good.

Adriana said... Best Blogger Tips

Que rico! I usually have sweetened cornmeal for breakfast, but love the savory versions as well.

Nelly said... Best Blogger Tips

This dish was my Ine if my father-in-law's favorite dish and mine too. He made it with picadillo and topped it with homemade red beans postage when ready to be served. I miss his cooking so much and wish I had written down all his delicious recepies. May he RIP.

Yolanda said... Best Blogger Tips

This sounds delicious. Could it be made in the slow cooker?