Packing hasty pudding in granite pans, cutting it into slices and frying it makes a good dish. In Italy, polenta is spread out in thin layers on a board, and cut in small blocks. These blocks are crumbed and fried in deep oil or butter. Another method is to mix corn meal in three times its value of water, and cook it in water only long enough to form a mush, and complete the cooking by frying the meal in butter. This is not so stiff as ordinary fried corn meal mush.
Corn meal mush is often served with dried fruits, particularly with figs and dates. In preparing such fruit for use with the mush, it is usually necessary to soften it. This can easily be accomplished by washing the fruit and then heating it in a slow oven. As a result of the heat the water remaining on the fruit is absorbed and the fruit softened and also dried on the surface.
For this dish yellow corn meal is usually used. For a mush made with one cup of yellow corn meal the usual allowance is one-half cup, or two ounces, of grated cheese. There is, however, no limit to the amount of cheese which can be added, and the addition of cheese tends not only to make a highly nitrogenous and nourishing dish, but also to make a dish which can be eaten without the addition of butter and cream. Like the ordinary corn meal mush, it is often fried either in deep fat, after having been crumbed, or in a small amount of fat.
2 cups corn meal 1 teaspoon salt
Boiling water Flour for dredging
Mix the meal and salt; pour boiling water over the meal and stir thoroughly, using water enough to make a stiff paste. Form portions of paste into flat dumplings about three inches in diameter. Have ready a kettle of boiling water and drop the dumplings in carefully, cover, and cook twenty minutes. These dumplings are often cooked with turnip tops or other greens. Some cooks dredge the dumplings with flour before boiling them.
Turn corn meal mush into bread tins previously wet with cold water; when cold, slice. Dip the sliced mush into bread crumbs. Place in a buttered pan, and bake in a quick oven until a rich brown. Serve with butter or maple syrup.
Cut some neat slices of brown or white bread half an inch thick. Remove crust, and cut into large fingers; soak them in a mixture composed of milk, a little flour and sweet herbs and seasoning, and fry crisp, either in butter or oil.