Few Dominican children have escaped it, and although it’s not as popular these days, nearly all of us have eaten a version of this dish at some time or other. It was usually served as breakfast or dinner, and sometimes as a mild, comfort food when we were sick.
Coincidentally, a couple of readers recently mentioned that they would like a recipe for it, so I set out to do that. It took longer than I intended as my body just wasn’t into the whole “working” thing.
And I wasn’t just procrastinating.
Do you remember that trip to Israel a few weeks ago? Well, I decided that the best thing to do after that was to take another long trip in the opposite direction of the clock, all the way to California. To be honest, this trip had been planned well before the Israel trip, but I clearly thought I was up to the task. Why didn’t anyone remind me just how old I am?
I hadn’t recovered from an eastward case of jet lag when I added some westward jet lag to it. Yeah, like 12 hours in both directions of my time line. And to top it I caught a case of the flu, or perhaps a really bad cold. What I thought was a simple case of “get your tush off that bed and get going” ended up as a week in bed and taking care of my daughter who also got the same bug from me. Hurray!
There’s my excuse for my disappearance as of lately.
So I decided to make a “maicena” pudding for my child, who was barely surviving on yogurt for a couple of days. My mom used to make this for me when I was feeling down too. It’s as mild a food as can possibly be, although in this case the addition of chocolate, coconut and vanilla also makes for a very nice dessert.
And dessert always makes us feel better.
- 6 cups of whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 cup of sugar
- seeds of 2 vanilla pods , or 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup of cornstarch
- 1/2 cup of toasted coconut flakes
Mix milk salt and sugar. Mix in cornstarch. Add vanilla seeds or cocoa powder, depending on which you're making. Sieve to eliminate undissolved solids.
Pour into a pot and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking. Once it breaks a boil, lower heat and continue stirring until it has thickened to the same consistency as condensed milk. Remove from heat.
Pour into another bowl and stir until it has cooled to room temperature. Pour into small serving cups. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and chill.
Choose whether to make the chocolate or the vanilla versions and prepare accordingly. Or you can make in two halves and serve in layers after cooling (see photo).
Use almond milk for a vegan version.