Corn bread aka proja

I really believe in good old dinner time. Ok, maybe lunch time should be included as well especially if you were raised in a country where everyone had to work for 8 hours (rest for 8 hours and sleep for 8 hours) and work ended at 3pm (not any more though, that was in our parents’ time). Our mum would still have time to prepare an early dinner or lunch as we used to call it – A proper meal was important and it had to be there for us –  every day!

I also believe in good food, followed by good company. What could possibly be better than that? What could possibly be more inspiring and creative for our minds as well as bodies? If we want to be honest, that is the only time when we sit, relax and talk and laugh and wish there is no tomorrow.  Even if it’s not so festive we still know that we are there for each other. It’s a special time. It’s a family time. It’s an ode to our being. It’s a safe place for our kids. It’ the place you want to return to – every day.

Not so long ago I posted a recipe on Food 52  for this “creative” version of corn bread also known as Proja in my homeland. I wanted to share it here, with you as well.

Proja is one of the most common entrées in Serbia. Hm, but then again, it could be a side dish or could nicely accompany many main dishes as well. It could also be served on its own, like I do for my little family. So, the bottom line is, proja is present very often and you simply can not be raised in the Balkans and not be acquainted with this dish, like it or not! I am personally a big fan of corn bread but I do know some that are not and that would be my family I am talking about here; the little one makes an effort by having a bite every time I bake it but so far he hasn’t passed that point. My husband is more enthusiastic, after all he has been around longer, thus he knows better. (Sorry to both of you but when it comes to cooking I become even more enthusiastic when the word “healthy” accompanies any food).

Someone once said – The healthiest food is the food our grandmother ateI apologise to the original executor of these words, for not remembering her/him but the actual words have stuck in my mind. I also believe that is true! My grandmother grew up on corn they grew themselves. She gave a birth to 9 children and raised them well, pretty much on her own. Although life wasn’t always easy for her, she lived for over 100 years! So maybe a healthy life style and possibly the quality of the corn had something to do with that.

As I said before, I don’t mind the healthy side of this dish, in fact I love it but if I really want to be honest, I adore the taste of it!

Corn bread with zucchini and goat cheese

2 large eggs

250 ml milk

350 ml soda water

125 ml olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon aluminium free baking powder

300 gr  polenta

150 gr plain flour

100 gr crumbled goat cheese

125 gr sour cream

1 grated zucchini

Heat the oven to 200C. Grease baking tin or  10″ iron skillet with oil and dust with corn flour.

Mix all dry ingredients in medium size bowl. In a different bowl whisk eggs and add all wet ingredients to it. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mix and stir with a wooden spoon. Add grated zucchini, crumbled goat cheese and stir again until all well combined.

Pour into a baking tin and bake on 200C for 20 minutes, then reduce to 180C and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

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