Somewhere South with Chef Vivian Howard


This recipe is from chef Michael Solomonov, who has been called “the Genius of Modern Jewish Cooking” and co-owns the restaurant group, CookNSolo, in Philadelphia, which includes such restaurants as Zahav, Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Goldie and Federal Donuts. Note: you can substitute any mildly hot pepper for the pasilla peppers.


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⅔ cups yellow cornmeal
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced pasilla peppers, about 4 to 6 peppers 
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 farm fresh eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons cultured butter
  • Sour cream to taste
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta


Step 1: Bring the water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and season with salt. Gradually add the cornmeal while continuously stirring in the same direction with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat to low and continue to stir until the cornmeal begins to thicken. 

Cover the pot and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. When it’s done, the porridge will easily pull away from the sides of the pot.  

Step 2: While the porridge is cooking, heat a small skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Sauté the peppers and garlic until slightly softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove peppers and garlic from the pan; set aside. 

In the same skillet, add olive oil over medium heat and fry eggs one at a time.  

Step 3: Stir in butter and sour cream to the mamaliga to finish and then spoon into four small bowls. Top each bowl with a fried egg and peppers, sprinkle with feta, and serve.  

Yield: 4 servings