February 23, 2024

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Jamaican Turned Cornmeal is something that my mother used to make in a pinch. When there wasn’t much in cupboard this was a go-to dinner recipe. She would fry some salt pork for this recipe but I use bacon. Or leave it out and it makes a tasty vegetarian dish. The tradition is to eat Turned Cornmeal with Steamed Fish as a side dish. However you can eat it alone or along side any meat, even curry chicken! Many places have their version of this dish. Elsewhere in the Caribbean they call it Coo Coo, and a similar dish in Italy is called Polenta. However, the coconut flavour and spicy kick in this traditional Jamaican recipe is one you’re sure to enjoy!

1 tsp Cooking Oil
3 strips Bacon, chopped
1 small Tomato, chopped
2 stalks Scallion (green onion), chopped
1 cooking Onion, chopped
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Thyme or (1 tsp fresh)
2 cups Coconut Milk
1 1/2 cup Cornmeal
1 cup Cold Water
1/4 tsp West Indian Hot Pepper Sauce
1 Tbsp Butter or Margarine

1. Fry bacon in cooking oil until crisp
2. Add tomato, scallion and cooking onion to the pot and sautee until they tender
3. Add salt, black pepper and thyme and stir
4. Pour coconut milk into pot and bring to a boil; in the meantime, mix water and cornmeal together until smooth
5. Add hot pepper sauce and butter or margarine
6 Stir in cornmeal mixture; keep “turning” until cornmeal thickens and cooks through; about 10 minutes after adding the cornmeal.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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I’ve been cooking Jamaican food for my family for more than 50 years! Now I'm teaching my daughter Angela and you how to cook my treasured family recipes! I'm happy to be of service and love hearing from you so don't forget to leave a comment below.


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