Cornmeal and Cream?
I recently found a recipe for basic cornmeal (not grits) that called for the addition of light or heavy cream and sugar once the cornmeal had finished cooking.
The recipe was simple enough -- mix 1 cup of fine cornmeal with 1/2 cup of water, then add to 3 cups of boiling water. Stir, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or to desired consistency. Serve piping hot with cream and sugar.
I tried it and thought it was delicious in a simplistic, rustic sort of way (i did substitute demura in place of the refined white sugar and added some fruit). I'm surprised I had never heard of this basic variation of hearty hot cereal before.
Anyone else ever give it a try or heard of cornmeal used this way? I've heard grits are more nutricious since they're processed in a way that releases more b-vitamins and/or protein, but this was a nice change of pace fo rme.
Any other cornmeal breakfast suggestions?
While grits can be made from nixtamalized corn (alkaline treatment), almost no one sells that kind these days, even if they are called hominy grits. Even expensive 'stone ground grits' are not treated. 'Grits' refers more to the coarseness of the grind.
The differences between cornmeal mush (which you just made), grits, and polenta, have more to do with grind, color, and seasoning, than anything that distinctive about the corn.
Another northern-style cornmeal dish is Indian pudding - your cornmeal mush seasoned with molasses, ginger, and baked (possibly enriched with milk, butter, and egg).
Italians also have some sweet polenta dishes. For example in B Kafka's Microwave Gourmet there is a recipe for sweetened cornmeal mush/polenta mixed with berries. And in the savory category, Italians add greens like kale to the mush, and even beans.
Polenta with some shredded Fontina cheese stirred in, served over or under freshly cooked cannelini or borlotti beans and braised cavolo nero - Dragon kale - is a good reason to look forward to cool weather. You don't need a recipe if you know how to cook these things - just try it! Layer everything or stir it in, doesn't matter.
Yellow corn meal mush (as we called it) was a staple of my childhood, lo these many decades ago, in central California. I still like it. We always used dark brown sugar, though, not white. It was an alternative to oatmeal, wheatena (on which we used white sugar), and the dreaded Roman meal mush. Dry cereal was not allowed in our house when I was a child.