Sweet and savory cornmeal! This dish can be prepared with polenta or cornmeal. The only difference is cooking time. Cornmeal needs to cook must longer than polenta because the grains are larger.
It’s starting to get cold, and what is the perfect way to stay warm and cozy? A nice bowl of Sweet Polenta or Labouyi Mayi. It’s been raining for a couple of days now and I am not in the mood for anything fancy. I just want to feel warm and the best way is with great comfort food.
It is so easy to feel very gloomy when the weather changes. The warm weather is no longer here and we have to wait for several months before we can say ouuuu – ahhhhh! I have a love and hate relationship with winter. As the cold season is approaching it is time to think about how to stay comfortable and warm. As long as I can enjoy all the things associated with winter I am happy. Otherwise I am miserable until I can no longer wear layers and layers of clothing. I love looking at the trees after snow has fallen. To me it is very magical as if a fairy deposited the exact amount of snow on the branches and trees to create a winter wonderland.
Sweet Polenta is one of the many dishes we used to have for supper in Haiti. The best time to enjoy this dish was for me on rainy nights. The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with the smell of rain is just marvelous. It gives me a feeling of security, love and affection. Just wonderful!
Sweet Polenta is cornmeal cooked in milk, cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, lime rind, vanilla, butter, and sugar. So simple and so succulent! It is somewhat similar to cornmeal porridge but thicker in consistency because it is made with regular cornmeal and not cornmeal flour. To make a perfect Sweet Polenta it is best to use a cornmeal that is less coarse, a medium or fine grind will do.
Enjoy my recipe for Sweet Polenta or as we call it back home Mais Douce.
- 3/4 cups cornmeal medium or fine grind, rinsed
- 4 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 anise star
- 1 lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon butter
- On medium heat, in a large saucepan, add milk, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, lime rind, and anise star. Bring to a boil. Rinse cornmeal with water and drained. Add rinsed cornmeal to milk slowly. With a wooden spoon, gently stir mixture. Bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, add sugar and lower heat. Let cornmeal cook while stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon to avoid sticking. Be careful with the mixture because the higher the heat, the more it will splatter. Once milk has almost evaporated add butter and stir. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and check to see if cornmeal is fully cooked. It should be a bit pasty. If not fully cooked add additional milk until cooked thoroughly. Remove lime rind, anise star and cinnamon stick. Served while hot. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top if preferred.
Sweet Polenta or Mais Douce, can be made also with brown sugar. Do not use a coarse cornmeal as it will take longer to cook and you will need more