Cream of Wheat Beyond the Breakfast Bowl

Cream of Wheat, a.k.a. farina, a.k.a. semolina, has plenty of uses beyond the bowl of hot cereal we associate with childhood.

Upma, or upama, is a South Indian dish that’s typically eaten for breakfast, but it’s made like a pilaf, toasting the farina first, and incorporates enough aromatics, spices, and vegetables that it might as well be dinner to most of us. Check out this recipe from Indian Food Forever.

Ora offers this recipe for farina bread (amyzan makes the same thing as an alternative to cornbread):

3/4 cup farina

3/4 cup unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large egg
2 tablespoons melted butter or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon bacon drippings or butter

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine farina, flour, and baking powder in a bowl, making a well in the center. In another bowl, whisk the egg and butter or oil, then whisk in the buttermilk. Pour bacon drippings or place 1 tablespoon butter in an 8-inch cast iron skillet. Place the skillet in the preheated oven. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring just until moistened. Pour into the hot skillet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Don’t overbake; it should still be somewhat moist and springy in the center, though the edges may draw from the pan. Serve hot in wedges.

heatherkay uses farina to bread chops, fish, and chicken breasts, saying it adheres to the meat better than cornmeal does. Emme uses it as a binder in meatballs and meatloaf.

Board Links: cream of wheat–non-cereal uses?

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