Maize meal is an SA staple, but it can be so much more than a bowl of porridge. Treat it like polenta and serve it as an alternative to pasta and mash, or turn it into a gluten-free pizza base. Make a large baking sheet- sized pizza or split it down the middle and make one for now and freeze another to have on standby.
What You Need
For the base:
1 cup maize meal
500ml chicken stock
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
For the topping:
4 portobellini mushrooms, thinly sliced
14 soft sundried tomatoes, cut into pieces (scissors work well)
190g low- or reduced fat mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Fresh thyme leaves
1/ Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
2/ Bring the water and chicken stock to the boil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. While whisking, gradually pour in the maize meal in a steady stream. Keep whisking and once it has thickened and looks smooth, reduce the heat to medium or mediumlow and cook for 20 minutes, whisking now and then. Season with salt and pepper.
3/ Working quickly, pour the maize meal onto the baking sheet and, using a spatula, spread until it is an even thickness and smooth on top. Leave to set for at least one hour. (You could do this ahead and refrigerate until needed.)
4/ Turn the oven onto grill and place a rack about five centimetres under the grill. When you’re ready to make your pizza, lightly brush the maize meal base with oil and grill until crisp.
5/ Remove the base from the oven, return the rack to the middle shelf and adjust the heat to 220°C.
6/ Add the pizza toppings, starting with the mozzarella, then the mushrooms and sundried tomato. Sprinkle over some thyme leaves.
7/ Bake for 15 minutes. Leave to stand for five minutes before slicing.
SERVES 8. Per 211g serving: 543kJ, 1.5g fat (0g sat), 18g carbs, 290mg sodium, 3g fibre, 12g protein