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Hominy Corn Porridge: Do you have a food that you didn’t like as a child but fell in love with as an adult? Well, for me that food is Jamaican Hominy Corn Porridge. When I was growing up it was my least favourite of all the Jamaican porridges. And there are many: peanut, green banana, rice, cornmeal, oatmeal and so on. Now don’t mistake Hominy Corn Porridge for Cornmeal Porridge. Coconut milk is used to make hominy porridge so they actually have different flavours as well as textures.
Hominy corn is basically dried corn kernels. In the U.S. it’s coursely ground to make hominy grits. In Jamaica, it’s used mostly to make porridge, but is also ground. When I was young hominy corn kernals would be soaked overnight in lye water made with ashes and water. The solution would remove the skin from the kernels. However today you can buy them peeled, dried and ready to cook. You can also buy them whole or cracked, but I like to use the cracked kernals for this recipe because they cook quicker.
Traditionally condensed milk is used to sweeten the porridge … and I love it! But you can use sugar instead, or a combination of the two. If you like a creamy yet textured porridge (the cooked kernals are chewy), you’ll love the sweet and simple flavours of this delicately spiced porridge. Today I have a whole new appreciation of Hominy Corn Porridge, a dish that makes a mighty good way to start the day.
1 cup Hominy Corn
6 cups Water
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 cups Coconut Milk
1/2 cup Corn Starch
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, grated
2 tsp Vanilla flavouring
1/2 cup Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1. Rinse the corn, place in a pot and soak overnight in 6 cups of water.
2. In same pot, boil corn for 20 to 30 minutes with salt and cinnamon stick until tender; lower heat
3. In a small bowl, dissolve corn starch by mixing it with some coconut milk; stir into remaining coconut milk
4. Turn stove to High and add the coconut milk with starch to pot; stir porridge until thickened
5. Add nutmeg, vanilla and evaporated milk, stirring after each addition
6. Add condensed milk to sweeten the porridge, or sugar to taste
How to make Traditional Coconut Milk
1. Using a food processor or hand grater, grate the flesh of 1 coconut
2. In a bowl, add 2 cups of water to the grated coconut and squeeze
3. Pour the mixture into a large strainer and press coconut to extract 2 cups of milk
Substitution Tips: If using canned coconut milk, combine 1 cup coconut milk with 1 cup water to make 2 cups. You can use either whole or cracked hominy corn kernals. Whole kernals take longer to cook. The timing for the recipe is based on using cracked corn.