6 to 8 servings
3-1/2 cups water
Salt, to taste
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into bits
8 tbsp. (1 stick each) unsalted butter, melted, for serving
Combine the water and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal in a steady stream and whisk until the water returns to boiling. Gradually add the rest of the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook the mixture, covered, until thickened and cooked through, 10 minutes.
Add in the butter, a piece at a time, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan, about 5 minutes more.
Transfer the mamaliga to a medium size oval bowl and flatten the surface with a wet spoon. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Invert the mamaliga onto a plate and sprinkle with the melted butter.
SOME FAVORITE TRADITIONAL WAYS TO SERVE MAMALIGA
Sprinkle the mamaliga with 1 cup crumbled feta cheese and bake in a 400 degrees F. oven until the feta is golden and bubbly, 10 minutes. Serve with melted butter.
Cut the mamaliga into 1/4 inch thick slices, dredge in cornmeal and fry in butter. Serve for breakfast with fried bacon.
Mix hot mamaliga with 1 1/2 cups kasseri cheese, transfer to a rectangular casserole, drizzle with 4 tablespoons melted butter that has been mixed with 3 to 4 cloves of crushed garlic, and bake in a 375 degrees F. oven until the top is browned, 12 minutes.
Place a thin slice of German ham and a thin slice of sharp cheese between two slices of mamaliga, dip in beaten egg, and fry in butter until golden.