Couche Couche (Cajun Breakfast Cereal)

This lightly fried, soft and chewy cornmeal cereal is served with cane syrup–sweetened milk and makes a great breakfast or dessert.

Couche Couche (Cajun Breakfast Cereal)
Photo:

Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
Servings:
4

A lightly fried cornmeal cereal served with cane syrup–sweetened milk, couche couche is a truly Cajun dish. It’s a product of the Deep South, where local ingredients like cornmeal and cane syrup are used to make the dish, and is typically only served in Cajun homes. This couche couche recipe is from Melissa and Carroll Anderson, the parents of sugarcane farmer Angie Provost, whose version of the dish is full of chewy crumbles of cornbread that soften as they absorb the sweet and creamy milk. While often considered a Cajun breakfast, couche couche can be enjoyed any time of day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups medium-grind yellow cornmeal (about 10 ounces)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole or 2% reduced-fat milk, plus more for serving

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • Cane syrup, for serving

Directions

  1. Whisk together cornmeal, milk, baking powder, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium until shimmering. To test if oil is hot enough, drop a small spoonful of cornmeal mixture into skillet; it should sizzle when it hits the oil. If mixture does not sizzle, remove and discard from skillet, and continue heating oil until hot enough.

  3. Pour remaining cornmeal mixture evenly into hot oil in skillet; cook over medium, undisturbed, until mixture forms a golden brown crust on bottom, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until cornmeal begins to slowly crumble, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook, undisturbed, 15 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring constantly and breaking cornbread mixture apart, until mixture forms an even, crumbly texture, 3 to 4 minutes.

  4. Spoon couche couche evenly into 4 small cereal bowls. Top with milk and cane syrup, and serve.

Note

Medium-grind cornmeal is available at most grocery stores or online at bobsredmill.com.

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