Water, yellow cornmeal, and some jam are all the ingredients you need for a
hearty breakfast. Don't be put off by the length of the write-up; it's easy to
make but the little tricks that make it easy require some explanation. This
recipe requires you to make the mush the night before you want to use it. This
recipe differs from polenta in that it's made without fat (except for frying)
- 2 cups water (for cooking, more required to wet the bowl you will use to
set the mush)
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- Place some water into a soup bowl and set aside.
- Place the two cups of water into a pan (I use a heavy pan to even out the
- Measure the cornmeal and then spoon some of the water from the pan into
the measuring cup. Use the spoon to allow the water to seep down into the
cornmeal fully wetting it.
- Once fully wet, put heat under the pan and start spooning the wet cornmeal
into the pan, stirring constantly to avoid clumping (for some reason attempting
to simply put the dry cornmeal into the water directly tends to cause clumping).
Use water from the pan to rinse out the measuring cup and set aside. Stir
the water and cornmeal mix constantly while heating (this is important to
avoid both clumping and burning). Stir and simmer the mixture until it thickens
to the point where it requires a bit of help from the spoon to pour out of
- Immediately remove from heat, quickly empty the water from the soup bowl
into the measuring cup and then pour/spoon the cornmeal mixture into the soup
bowl (the water in the soup bowl will help in removing the set mush later).
- Dip a small spoon into the water in the measuring cup and use the bowl of
the spoon to smooth and even the surface of the cornmeal mixture; use the
tip of the spoon to go around the edge of the mixture and make it smooth.
- Set the bowl aside overnight to allow the mixture to set (I don't cover
it, but if leaving it set more than overnight you might want to consider covering
- To use the mush, overturn the soup bowl onto a cutting board (shake a little
if needed to release the mush). Cut into 1/4-inch slices (more or less to
taste). Depending on consistency you may have to use a big knife to make the
basic cut and a small knife dragged along the side of the big knife to release
the mush from the big knife without breaking it.
- Fry these slices at 350-degrees on both sides in butter/margarine until
a slight golden crust forms. If you use a griddle, while cooking you can place
the plate under the griddle to warm it.
- Place on a plate and cover the mush with your favorite fruit jam (fig jam
works well if you can get it and I also like my homemade strawberry jam; but
most any fruit jam will work just fine).
- Most of the fat in this recipe is used in cooking. So, to reduce the fat
use a non-stick cooking surface and either no fat or a very light spray of
- You may have to experiment a bit on consistency to find the point that suits
you. If you let the mush get too dry before pouring it may crumble a bit when
you cut/fry it. If you leave it too wet then the water will interact with
the butter/margarine when cooking and it will spit at you.
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Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved