Cornmeal porridge is a Caribbean breakfast staple that brings childhood memories rushing back every single time I have it. It was one of those things that when you learned it was on the stove you jumped for joy. If you’re not familiar with cornmeal porridge, think of the best bowl of cream of wheat you’ve ever had with a bit cornbread flavor and a note of warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Cornmeal porridge is a velvety smooth bowl of comfort food I’m so glad my aunt passed on to me, because I could eat every day. Holidays and family gatherings aren’t frequent enough occasions to have cornmeal porridge. It’s a great dish for babies and kids too, just cool the porridge to the appropriate temperature for their little palettes.
This cornmeal porridge recipe is a hearty dish, easily stretched to fill a lot of bellies. Just 1 cup of cornmeal for every 5 cups of water, which results in 4 servings of porridge once the remaining ingredients are added.
Let me tell you the key to the success of this dish – the texture. NO one likes lumpy porridge. Every bite of cornmeal porridge – or any porridge for that matter – should be warm and creamy, with subtle, sweetened cornmeal flavor. How do you achieve this? Follow the recipe below of course, but stir! Stir often and stir well and your cornmeal porridge will be successful. Stir as you add the cornmeal to the boiling water, stir as the cornmeal simmers, stir as you add milk, and stir as you add sweetener. Preferably with a whisk, but you may use a fork if you don’t have a whisk on-hand.
Once your beautiful pot of cornmeal porridge is ready, stream it into a bowl or mug and top with a dash of nutmeg and…
Yields 4 servings:
- 5c. water
- 1c. yellow cornmeal
- 1/2tsp salt
- 1c milk – coconut, evaporated, cow’s or almond
- 2tbsp vanilla extract
- 1tbsp ground nutmeg
- 1tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1c. sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4c. brown sugar
In a medium sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water.
Mix together 1 cup of water and 1 cup of cornmeal and mix together using a whisk or fork, until well combined.
Carefully add the cornmeal and water mixture to the boiling water and whisk vigorously to prevent lumps from forming.
Reduce heat to medium low. Allow porridge to simmer, stirring every 2-3 minutes to prevent lumps and to keep the bottom layer of porridge from sticking to the pot.
After 15 minutes reduce heat to low and add milk. Stir vigorously to combine.
Add all seasonings to the pot: vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Whisk vigorously to combine.
Once your flavorings are incorporated, add your sweeteners: condensed milk and brown sugar, stir to combine fully. There should be no marbling of the sweeteners, the porridge should be one solid color.
If porridge is still too thick for your liking, add additional milk to thin the consistency. Keep in mind adding any cold ingredients to the porridge can cause lumping so stir quickly as you stream it in to prevent this.
Serve in a bowl or mug, topped with a sprinkling of ground nutmeg and…