From my childhood in the western Jamaica countryside to my first job as a Pantry Cook to this recipe being featured in the Jamaica Gleaner’s 2015 holiday Cookbook, turned cornmeal remains a constant in my life. This particular recipe came about as many of my recipes do; by way of excess. I had a small bit of corned pork left over from making Ackee & Corned Pork and. Since I don’t like to let food linger and I always have cornmeal on hand. A little bit of detective work in the crisper drawers and VOILA!!!
Not everyone, including yours truly cares for pork. To recreate the following recipe you can substitute the pork with an equal amount of corned beef, tofu or even diced chicken breast. Hard to believe that once upon a time this stuff was only good enough for pigs and peasants huh?
¼ LB Corned pork, cubed
¼ LB pumpkin, cubed
1 TB cooking oil
1 med. bell pepper, diced small
1 small onion/ 2 stems scallion, cut small
1 ½ cup fine cornmeal
2 C. coconut milk
2 ½ C. water
1 tsp salt, optional
1tsp black pepper, optional
1 sprig thyme, remove leaves and discard stem
In a deep skillet or saucepan, sauté pork and pumpkin until pork begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add cooking oil pepper and onion. Stir well and sauté for another 3 minutes, until onions begin to cook. Mix cornmeal with water in a bowl. Add coconut milk to skillet. Stir in cornmeal. Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to med- low cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent lumps. Eat warm or pour hot cornmeal into a glass dish, cover and refrigerate. After turn cornmeal has cooled you can slice and reheat as you wish.
- Stovetop – Add 1 tsp oil to a small pan. Heat pan. Cut turn cornmeal into serving sized pieces and place in a single layer in skillet. Cover and heat over a low fire for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Microwave – cover polenta and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
Sian Rose, an award winning chef has been featured on the Food Network. Her first cookbook, Nyammings: 88 Authentic Caribbean Recipes, can be found on Amazon.com in print and Kindle. Find her blog at www.sianscooking.com and stay up to date with all her culinary adventures