When I was growing up, we had a large, cold, cupboard where we used to store dried peas, flour and rice, as these were stables in most of our cooking. Sometimes my mum would call me out of my day dreaming and ask me to go and fetch her the jar of Cornmeal which was stored in a large glass jar in this cupboard. In most cases it was to make cornmeal porridge which she’d mix with warm spices, a bay leaf and split with fresh milk for breakfast at the weekend. Oftentimes it formed cornmeal dumplings to add to the soup we traditionally shared as a family of six on Friday’s.
Nowadays I use cornmeal for a variety of things: sometimes to add a crunchy texture to homemade burgers or breads. I also absolutely love it in Coo-coo (a dish I have yet to share on the blog…in time); as well as to make straight forward cornbread. Cornmeal flour comes in many textures, I tend to use the fine texture which still has a grittiness to it but can be moulded into a dough when water is added to it. There are finer textures than this (“Masa Harina”) which is typically used to make Empanadas.
Corn is also a good source of several nutrients, including thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese.
For breakfast today, I fancied some waffles, but I wanted waffles with a savoury flavour or one that could compliment a savoury dish (i.e. beans and eggs). Cornmeal flour seemed the most obvious option because as a base to the waffles so many other ingredients could be added: jalapeno’s, cheese, etc…and the texture works just right. The key to retaining the crispy texture of the waffle is to either eat them straight away LOL or let them cool on a wire rack; letting them lie flat on a plate would make them go a little soggy. If you want to substitute buttermilk for regular milk, then only use about 1 cup of milk and add a little more if necessary.