(Nicaraguan, Costa Rican cocoa-cornmeal drink)
Rich and somewhat gritty, pinolillo is an ancient drink and is traditionally served in a dried gourd shell. While instant powder can be bought in many Latin markets, here's how you can make your own.
3 or 4 servings
- White cornmeal -- 1/4 cup
- Milk -- 2 cups
- Water -- 2 cups
- Cocoa powder -- 1/4 cup
- Sugar -- 3 teaspoons
- Cinnamon -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium-flame. Spread the cornmeal evenly over the bottom of the skillet. Toast the cornmeal, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned and releases its aroma. Remove to a clean spice grinder or blender and process until it is ground to a fine powder.
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth and frothy.
- Adjust sugar to taste and serve cold over ice. Any solids that settle to the bottom are eaten with a spoon.
- For a little spice, add a big pinch of cayenne pepper or ground chile piquín. Other spices sometimes added include ground allspice or ground cloves.
- Pinolillo can also be served hot. For a tasty pick-me-up, substitute coffee for the water.