Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday Eats - Grist Mill Cooking

During the summer and fall we drive over to a Historic Grist mill that's a couple of miles from our house and after biking or walking the trails along the river, we pick up some of their stone ground cornmeal.  It's unlike anything you can get in the stores, and it's pretty hard to go back to "corn dust" once you've tried it.
They were closed this summer for some upkeep on the structure, which is some 150 years, so when they reopened we were able to go over and stock up before they closed for the winter as the cornmeal freezes nicely in ziplock bags.
At their request, we picked up a big bag Frankie Furter's Mom as she really likes it.

This weekend, I decided to do three recipes with it and was very happy with the results.

My favorite was the cornmeal pancakes.  Not only are they super light and fluffy they have the perfect little "crunch" of the cornmeal amidst the fluffiness. The recipe is adapted from one in the Graue Mill's Brochure (I soured the milk and added slightly more sugar)
Before syrup - see how light and fluffy?

This makes 8 pancakes double if it cooking for a larger group.

Mix in large bowl:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix in another bowl

1 egg whisked (I used an extra large one, if using smaller one you might want to add another Tablespoons milk).
3/4 cup milk to which you've added 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons melted butter.

Mix wet and dry ingredients

Cook on an oiled griddle.

Next up is a recipe for some homemade corn tortillas for carne asada tacos for lunch. (Yes, I don't like raw tomatoes, hence my tacos are a bit "nekked" with just lettuce and a little Mexican cheese and some Scoville Brothers hot sauce from Northern Indiana)

Note: making these from just stone ground cornmeal is not going to work, you need the traditional Mexican masa harina flour to which you add just a bit of cornmeal for a slightly crunchier texture. Masa harina is made by drying field corn (maize) and then treating it in a solution of lime and water. I This loosens the hulls from the kernels and softens the corn.  In addition, the lime reacts with the corn so that the nutrient niacin can be assimilated by the digestive track.

Corn Tortillas

1 and 1/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons masa harina (I buy Bob's Red Mill Brand, in health food sections at the store and at Amazon at a good price).
2 Tablespoons stone ground cornmeal
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lard (or veggie equivalent)
About 1 cup hot water, or more as needed
Flour for kneading

Combine the masa, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl; stir in the oil. Slowly stream in the water while mixing with your hand or a wooden spoon until the dough comes together into a ball.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is smooth and elastic — just a minute or two. Wrap in plastic, and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

Break off pieces of the dough (you’re shooting for 12 to 16 tortillas total), and lightly flour them. Put them between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and press them in a tortilla press, or use a rolling pin, or roll them out or press them with your hands to a diameter of 4 to 6 inches. Begin to cook the tortillas as you finish pressing or rolling them.

Put a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas, 1 or 2 at a time, until brown spots appear on the bottom, about a minute. Flip, and do the same on the other side. Wrap the cooked tortillas in a towel to keep them warm; serve immediately, or cool and store tightly wrapped in the fridge for a few days.

Lastly, for dinner. Pork chops dredged in egg and milk and coated with crushed cornflakes to which some lemon pepper was added, baked at 350 F. for 50 minutes (these were thick cut) served with veggies, garlic mashed potatoes and topped with lemon slices.
My husband changed into more formal dining attire, given our corn themed meals.
 Served with a side of stone ground corn muffins.

Metric ingredients provided for our Canadian readership (Hailey and Zyphod's Mom)

Note: the conversion came from "the Metric Kitchen" so if a chicken explodes I won't be held responsible. :-)

1 cup yellow cornmeal Plus 2 Tablespoons (175 grams)
1 cup all-purpose flour Plus 2 Tablespoons (140 grams) Gluten free flour works, just add 1/2 teaspoon Xanath Gum
1 tablespoon baking powder (15 mL)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (65 grams)
1 teaspoon salt (7 grams)
1 cup milk plus 2 Tablespoons (270 mL)
2 large eggs (make sure you use ones from Metric chickens)
1/2 stick butter, melted (60 grams)
3 Tablespoons honey (65 mL)
1/4 teaspoon Mexican vanilla

Heat oven to 400 degrees (about 200 C). Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole milk and eggs. In a small glass bowl in the microwave, melt butter and then add the honey to that. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until mixed.

Bake in a greased 12 muffin tin, or use the little paper muffin liners. Bake for 14-15 minutes, just until golden.


  1. Those pancakes look amazing!!! And our Dad would love to sink his teeth into those pork chops. Thanks for sharing the recipes - c'mon, Momster, give it a try.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  2. We only have polenta here, but it does make good cornbread.

  3. If any of you that commented want some of the stone ground cornmeal next Summer when they open up, let me know and I will mail you some.

  4. Yum, they all sound amazing! As Southerners, we love anything with cornmeal.

  5. That all looks very yummy indeed! I wish my humans did more cooking like that! However, ghostwriter has been making poppy seed cakes as Christmas presents lately. Yum! I'll have to ask her if she'll take some pictures when she makes the next batch.

    1. I love anything with poppyseed in it. I couldn't' eat it for YEARS as a commercial pilot it would make you test positive for heroin/opiods on standard drug testing. A subsequent test can rule out heroin, though not other opiates, by looking for a specific metabolite, 6-acetylmorphine but no one was willing to take the risk of showing positive for opiods with limited way to prove otherwise so we just never ate any.

  6. Replies
    1. I don't know if it's sold in Canada, but Bob's Red Mill does a gluten free stone ground cornmeal that is VERY good.

    2. If there aren't restrictions for mailing it to Canada I'll get you a bag in the Spring and UPS it.

  7. Where is the cornmeal? Is the "1 cup flour" in the pancake recipe all cornmeal, or do we mix flour and meal? Not used to cooking breakfasts....

    1. Sorry about that, I usually do 3/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup cornmeal.


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