When I think of “mais moulin” (creole translation), polenta or cornmeal, I always think of my father. He made “mais moulin” at least 1-2 times week, either for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and it was always delicious. He would add tomato paste to it, which gave it this distinctive red-orangey color. Also, he would always add too much oil! Hahaha!!! That reminds me of the numerous time we would complain and the number of excuses he had.
Cornmeal is versatile and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Including with beans, vegetables, different sauces even. But my favorite way to eat mais moulin is how my dad always made it, red! And by the way, with less oil. LOL… I can hear him now from heaven telling me that more oil will make it tastier. LOL…
Hope you enjoy this recipe from my childhood. It is super simple and is great when you don’t want to be in the kitchen all day. Recipes like this are great especially if you have a busy schedule like me and want to eat a comforting meal.
I have tweaked the recipe a bit, adding more herbs, dried shrimp powder which you can found at your local farmer’s market or Mexican market and less oil of course. If you can’t find the powdered one, at the Asian market they have these spectacular jars of tiny salted shrimp, that will give this dish a nice distinct flavor as well. Just make sure not to add too much. As always feel free to tweak this recipe to your liking, get creative.
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Half of a medium onion chopped
- 1 large shallot chopped
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 green scotch bonnet whole
- 2-3 cloves of garlic or 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
- 4 stalks of flat parsley
- 4 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon of dried shrimp powder
- 2 cups of coarse corn meal
- 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach
- 6 - 8 cups of water
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Seasoned salt or salt free chicken bouillon, optional
- Avocados a must for the whole experience
- In a sturdy Dutch oven large pot or similar, heat oil, under medium heat. Add herbs, spices and tomato paste, sauté until tender, it should be a thick sauce consistency.
- Next add the cornmeal and quickly add the water, then stir thoroughly.
- Adjust season on ingredients if necessary.
- When stirring make sure not to burst the pepper, unless you are feeling adventurous!! Hahaha! Cook uncovered, stir often.
- Once all the water has evaporated, check to make sure it is cooked, if not add about 1-2 cups of water if necessary.
Cooking time will depend on type and brand of corn meal.