In the States, we are no strangers to cornbread. My grandparents kept a cast iron skillet that was used solely for making cornbread in. And there are lots of variations on the basic theme: white cornmeal, yellow cornmeal, blue cornmeal, sugar or no sugar, buttermilk, additions such as peppers, cheese, whole corn kernels, etc. The internet is full of cornbread recipes.
But did you know that people in other parts of the world eat cornbread too?
In Georgia, it's called mchadi. Мчади, in Russian. My husband makes it very well (having watched his mom and grandmother make it countless times throughout his childhood). Here's his method:
- 2 cups coarsely ground cornmeal (white is traditional, but we used yellow and it was fine)
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp (30 g) softened butter
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 8 ounces feta cheese
- canola oil
(Makes about 12 mchadi)
Crumble the feta onto the mixture and mix well again. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, and then form into small balls, about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter.
In a wide skillet, pour enough canola oil to cover the bottom and reach about half an inch up the side. Heat that over medium heat and then carefully put the flattened cornmeal balls in the hot oil.
Brown them evenly on both sides.
While the first batch is frying, you can form balls out of the remaining batter, if you haven't already done that.
Using a slotted spoon or spatula, take the mchadi out of the oil and drain them on paper towels. We had them with another variation of lobio (recipe coming soon!) and they were gone very quickly. But if you don't finish them all in one sitting, make sure to wrap them well. I've been told that they turn into hockey pucks.