In my home state of New Mexico we make atole with toasted blue corn meal and cow or goats milk. In other parts of México it's made with masa or masa harina and milk, flavored with nuts, berries, tropical fruits or chocolate. My version of atole is flavored with toasted almonds, anise seed and cinnamon and topped with slivered almonds, cinnamon and a splash of cold heavy cream for contrast. It was a perfect breakfast for a snowy day in nyc. * P.S. This tastes nothing like grits.... —gabrielaskitchen
almond meal or ground almonds
piloncillo (or 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1 TBs. molasses)
anise seed (ground between your fingers as you sprinkle)
toasted sliverd almonds and heavy cream to garnish
Toast the almond meal or ground almonds in a heavy bottom pan until golden brown (3 minutes on medium). Be careful not to burn, you'll know they're ready when you begin to smell a toasty nutty fragrance. Set aside.
Now make the cornmeal base. Begin by pouring water, cups milk and toasted almond meal into a blender. Add masa harina 2 tablespoons at a time blending thoroughly between each addition until you've added one cup in total.
Meanwhile, heat 2 cups milk, cinnamon, anise and (or brown sugar ) in a heavy bottom pot. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Add the cornmeal base to the milk base whisking vigorously until creamy, removing any lumps.
Simmer on low heat. Whisking frequently until atole has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
Serve in mugs topped with toasted slivered almonds, ground cinnamon and a tablespoon of heavy cream in each mug.