Cream of Wheat with Egg and Vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Cream of Wheat (2 1/2 minute variety)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg yolk*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Milk and butter, to serve (if you're feeling indulgent)
Bring the milk, water, and salt to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Whisk in the Cream of Wheat, whisking as you add it bit by bit. Turn the heat very low and let it simmer for about two minutes or until thickened.While it's simmering, whisk the sugar and egg yolk together in a small bowl, along with about a tablespoon of water to thin it. When the Cream of Wheat has thickened, put a couple big spoonfuls in the bowl with the egg yolk and whisk to temper the egg. Whisk the egg back into the pot of Cream of Wheat. Continue cooking on low heat for another couple minutes. Do not let it boil.
Stir in the vanilla and a little grated nutmeg and serve promptly.
* Note on the egg yolk: You can use the whole egg in this. However, I find that it's difficult to keep the egg white from curdling at least a little bit when added into the hot cereal, so you may find soft little nubs of egg white throughout. If this won't bother you, add the whole egg. Using just the egg yolk seems to keep it a little smoother.
(Image: Faith Durand)