We’re about to have another one of those scary conversations, you and I. You’re going to have to trust me. You’re going to have to be open.. Today I’m eating cornmeal for breakfast. Breathe…wait… This stuff is also called cornmeal mush, grits, polenta, mamaliga, and who knows what else. See? All the other kids are eating it.
Here is what I had for breakfast this morning - cornmeal with scallions (I prefer savory over sweet) with a fried egg. The egg was cooked in browned butter (an indulgence…)
Whatever you want to call it, Breakfast Cornmeal is easy to make. The ratio is 4 parts of water to 1 part of cornmeal. For one generous serving it’s 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of cornmeal. I buy Quaker Corn Meal; it’s $1.72 in my area. If I’m making a meal for company, I might buy the more expensive coarse grind, but quite honestly, I’m fine with the standard box.
How can you customize this to your tastes you ask? Well… If you like sweet, stir in raisins or other dried fruit, and/or drizzle with maple syrup. If you like it savory - cheese, bacon, scallions – it’s a blank slate!
How can you get over the fact that this is corn? well, make up a portion and really give it a chance. It needs a bit of salt and butter IMHO. The taste isn’t any stronger than oatmeal. Oatmeal has a tacky consistency that does not make me happy. It’s about the same as Cream of Wheat in terms of texture. If you really aren’t into this texture in the morning, make it a little stiffer by using less water, then shape it into cakes and fry it on both sides until golden. It only takes a few minutes more. Fried cornmeal cakes are awesome topped with applesauce – kind of like a potato pancake without the work!
It’s easy to cook cornmeal. Boil the water, add the salt and cornmeal, stir until most of the water is absorbed, and try to avoid clumps. The box says to mix some of the water with the cornmeal and stir it in to the boiling water, my great grandmother drizzled the cornmeal from her fist into the water, I use a whisk – do whatever works for you. You don’t need to cook it until it’s stiff; it sets as it cools.
What do do with leftovers? Line a small container with plastic wrap and smooth the leftovers into a thin layer. Later, fry the slab in butter or oil and top it with…anything! Chili is good, so is a hearty pasta sauce.
Want more? Add Shrimp and Cheddar Grits to your meal plan. We loved it. If dairy is not a problem for you, I heartily recommend cheese in the grits, but if it is…leave it out!
Both of these recipes are GFCF (just don’t add cheese) and friendly.
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