As a child I can remember how well I hated having hominy porridge for breakfast and on numerous occasions when grandma Anne prepares it, I could remember vividly how hard I tried to avoid it. This probably went on for a very long time.
However, somewhere along the line as I grew older, I began to realize my sudden love for it, now there’s not a week that goes by where I don’t eat hominy corn porridge at least two or three times. It is now more like a morning tradition to me.
More so, constantly eating this tasty Jamaican porridge also made me understand stuff like how nutritious this dish was and most importantly, it helped me perfect my own version of this meal which of course I will be introducing to you today. But as usual, before we go into that I would like for us to understand some vital details or rather information about this super awesome Jamaican corn porridge.
Hominy corn – what is it and how is it produced?
If you are new to this and don’t have any idea whatsoever what the hominy corn basically is then it may interest you to know that the hominy corn is a substance gotten from the kernels of corn.
In terms of production, these kernels are usually soaked in a mineral solution consisting of lime which in turn softens the corn and eventually results to easy peeling off of the outer layer of the corn, this also increases the size of the corn kernels as it swells.
The kernels are then thoroughly washed to remove any form of excess lime solution and germs, after which they are allowed to dry and you have eatable hominy corn. In terms of color, you might want to know that hominy corn also varies in color usually from white to bright yellow. In terms of usage, it can be used as grits in its ground form and also as a form of thickeners for soups, stews or casseroles.
However, in Latin America where hominy is quite popular, it is said that the Panamanians make a sort of corn drink commonly known as chicheme which is quite popular amongst the Caribbean people and also some southern states in America. The hominy corn can be found in a ground form, whole, cracked kernels or better still in its canned form.
The canned form sometimes is usually difficult to get especially the GMO or organic ones. Have it in mind that Hominy corn is easily found in ethnic groceries, Latin Caribbean or Asian stores. So, it is not difficult to get.
What is hominy corn porridge?
Hominy corn porridge, on the other hand, is a Jamaican porridge obtained for mainly cracked or whole hominy kernels. It is best taken as breakfast and consist of ingredients such as coconut milk, cinnamon, sweet condensed milk, and nutmeg. There are two stages in making this Jamaican breakfast the first is to thoroughly wash the hominy corn a few times and soak it overnight to enable it to cook at a faster rate the next day.
The second stage involves boiling the hominy corn with cinnamon added to it, this allows for swelling and further softening of the hominy corn. When the hominy is thoroughly cooked other ingredients like the coconut milk, condensed milk, and other spices are added to it the porridge prior to when it is being served.
Things to note when making the hominy corn porridge
Making the Jamaican hominy corn porridge is quite easy as it really doesn’t require any special technique and if you simply adhere to the instructions then you will do just fine. Below are a few things to note when making this delicious Jamaican porridge
Soaking the hominy – just I like I have said numerous times in this article, soaking the hominy is one of the most important parts of making one super awesome Jamaican breakfast.
Ensure the hominy corn is properly washed before allowing to soak overnight in a good quantity of water. I would also advise that you adopt the use of cracked hominy corn instead of the whole one as the cracked one tends to soften a lot faster than its counterpart.
Cooking the hominy corn porridge – first and foremost, before you attempt to cook the hominy corn porridge ensure that you drain off the water with which you use to soak the hominy corn and replace it with a fresh one. Then heat the water over medium heat making sure that the pot or saucepan is well covered. Simmer for about 40-45 minutes until the hominy is soft and the water levels are somewhat reduced.
A good question now would be how do I determine if the corn is ready or tender enough, to determine the tenderness of the corn simply take out a few grains with a spoon, allow to cool for a few minutes and gently try to press the corn in between your fingers. If it crumbles easily then it is cooked.
Making the hominy porridge thick – a mixture of starch and the coconut milk is a perfect way to thicken the hominy. This method is actually very common amongst Jamaicans. But most times people do prefer to skip this process and just allow the hominy corn to cook for an extra hour or two until it naturally thickens.
Hominy corn porridge recipe
This recipe is one that I have perfected over the years, to prepare the porridge, the following hominy corn porridge ingredients are required:
- 11/2 cups of hominy corn
- 4-5 cups of water
- 2 cups of coconut milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon of pink salt
- ½ cup of condensed milk
- Brown sugar to taste
- The first step is to thoroughly wash the hominy corn with clean water to remove dirt
- Put the thoroughly washed hominy corn in the slow cooker, ensure it is completely submerged in water and allow to cook for at least 5-6 hours (do this overnight), add a small amount of salt to taste (this is optional).
- Drain off the water when the corn is tender enough and set aside
- In a large pot pour in a good amount of coconut milk and pour in the hominy corn afterward. Allow to cook for at least 3 – 5 minutes on a medium burner.
- Next up mix the flour in combination with some quantity of water until it gives a paste-like texture. Pour the flour paste into the pot and mix thoroughly. Add the condensed milk and sugar to taste while constantly stirring to prevent any form of lumps.
- Finally sprinkle nutmeg to taste, continue to cook hominy corn porridge over a much more reduced heat for at least 3-5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the hominy corn porridge to cool. Serve and enjoy, you can also choose to add either bay leaf, mixed spices or evaporated milk to the porridge.
Note: if are using canned coconut milk, you can easily make it two cups by simply adding water to it. You can also decide to use whole or cracked hominy corn kernels but have it in mind that whole kernels take longer to cook. Also, if you are not okay with the use of coconut milk you can always use plant-based milk like almond as it another good substitute for the coconut milk.
More so if you don’t have a slow cooker there’s absolutely nothing to worry your pretty head about as you could just simply use a pressure cooker, the only difference compared to the slow cooker is the timing as you would be cooking for ½ – 1 hour.
As a matter of fact, using a pressure cooker is better if you are trying to skip the overnight soaking process. With the pressure or instant cooker, you simply add all other ingredients except for the condensed milk, seal, set your timer to about 30-45 minutes and you are good to good.
Others ways to enjoy the hominy corn porridge
With fruits – infusing the hominy corn porridge with slices of fruits like banana, mango, almonds, and walnuts is just divine and aside from breakfast, you can serve this for brunch, lunch, and even dinner.
With bread – just like any other porridge the hominy corn porridge can be eaten with bread that’s if you want a more solid breakfast.
The hominy corn porridge for me is the ideal breakfast for any family. it is something you would want to try out and I believe I have been able to provide you with more than enough resources to make the perfect hominy corn porridge. So, stop wasting time go get your ingredients, follow the instructions and make your very own porridge