Corn Defined, Varieties and Recipes
Corn—A most succulent and nutritious vegetable. In its green state it is generally boiled for about twenty minutes in boiling water containing milk and salt, and is served on the cob. The dried corn or maize, (MAIS in French,) is ground coarse or fine for making the following dishes.
CORN MEAL MUSH-One gallon of water, one ounce each of salt and butter. The seasoned water is brought to the boil, into which is then strewn and beaten one and a quarter pounds of corn meal; when boiled up again, it should be removed to the back of the range where it must simmer for three hours with a cover on; served with cream or milk and sugar.
FRIED CORN MUSH — A popular breakfast dish. The mush of the preceding when cooked is poured into a buttered pan, smoothed, the top then brushed with melted butter to prevent a hard skin forming, allowed to become cold, cut in blocks or slices, fried plain in butter, or breaded and fried; served with maple syrup.
CORN BATTER CAKES—For recipe see heading of " Batters."
CORN GEMS OR MUFFINS—One and a half pounds of corn meal, three quarters of a pound of sifted wheat flour, three teaspoonfuls of baking powder, half a cup of granulated sugar, one teaspoonful salt, all mixed together dry; one and a half pints each of water and milk, six beaten eggs, half a cupful of melted butter mixed together, the dry and wet mixtures then thoroughly incorporated and poured into hot greased patty shells or muffin rings and baked; light and delicious.
CORN BREAD, JOHNNY CAKE OR CORN DODGER—The preceding mixture poured into greased hot shallow baking pans and baked well done with crisp corners.
CORN MEAL GRUEL—Well boiled corn meal mush two-thirds, slightly sweetened boiling milk one-third, mixed, then forced through a fine sieve or colander.
CORN WAFFLES-The mixture above given for " Corn Muffins," poured into hot waffle irons, baked and served dusted with powdered sugar.
CORN BLANC-MANGE—Equal quantities of white corn meal and corn starch mixed dry, beaten into boiling milk sweetened to taste, then allowed to simmer for an hour, removed, flavored, poured into decorated molds, turned out when set and cold; served with whipped cream, fruit syrups or stewed fruits.
CORN MEAL OR INDIAN PUDDING—Thick well boiled corn meal mush allowed to partly cool, into which is then mixed seedless raisins, grated lemon rind, ginger, butter, a little molasses beaten with a very little baking soda, beaten eggs, then baked and served with a fruit syrup sauce.
POLENTA—The Italian name for our corn meal mush; they also make a polenta from chestnut flour.
HULLED CORN—Dried white corn soaked in weak lye for two days is then well washed, boiled tender and served plain with milkl In the larger cities there are people who prepare it and sell it ready for boiling.
TORTILLAS, A CORN CAKE MADE BY THE MEXICANS--The tortilla is typical of old Mexico, and is encountered wherever the influence of the cactus republic has reached. It was found as the main article of food among the ancient Aztecs at the time of the Spanish conquests, more than three and a half centuries ago; and the little hand ground and palm-fashioned corn cake has well held its own down through the ages, being today as popular and in as general use as ever.
Shelled corn intended for this use is first soaked over night in lime water until the outer husk of the kernels is loose enough to be removed by being rolled between the hands, and is then ready for grinding. This is done by the Mexican women of the lower classes, who often work in the doorways of their homes, bending over the historic stone hand mill, called in Mexico a MATATE.
The mill is simply a rough slab of stone supported by four stocky legs and is made of bolcanic tufa, the coarse grain of which is best adapted for the grinding of the corn, beans, chilli seeds, cheese or whatever it may be desired to finely pulverize. The stone mill is an indispensable item in the culinary outfit of the tropical home.
The accompanying handpiece, looking like a rude rolling pin, is also of stone, and is briskly worked up and down the incline of the rude stone table by the woman as she bends to her work with a steady swing of body, shoulders and arms. It is claimed that the flour for the tortillas can be perfectly milled only by their ancient methods, and when one sees the result of the grinding he is ready to admit that possibly they are right.
As the moist windrows of the meal roll off the grinding board it is caught in a basin and is then ready for being formed into cakes for baking. When ready to bake a woman takes a small lump of the heavy mixture and lays it in the palm of her hand; then with the other palm, she rolls it into a ball and begins to quickly pat it in to the desired thinness, deftly spreading the fingers to allow it to enlarge its size, and changing it from hand to hand until it is only an eighth of an inch in thickness and generally about six inches in diameter, although sometimes as large as a dinner plate.
The plastic cakes are tossed, one after another, as completed, upon the stove called a Brasero, and as fast as delicately browned and turned they are placed in a steaming heap and enveloped in a cloth to keep them warm.
CORN FRITTERS — Canned corn, or cooked corn cut off the cob, pounded, mixed with a little flour, beaten eggs, salt, pepper and a little butter, dropped by spoonfuls into hot fat and fried brown; served as a garniture to chicken, Maryland style, or as a vegetable.
GRATED CORN PUDDING—Two quarts of cooked corn grated off the cob, eight yolks of eggs, cup of melted butter, pint of milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg, mixed, poured into buttered baking pans, baked; served with a sweet sauce.
GREEN CORN SAUTE—Boiled corn cut from the cob, melted butter in sauté pan, corn tossed and heated thoroughly in it, seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg; served very hot; after sautéeing, it may also be mixed with a cream or Béchamel sauce, and served as a vegetable.
GREEN CORN BATTER CAKES—Two quarts of cooked corn grated from the cob, twelve ounces of flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg, pint and a half of milk, four beaten eggs, thoroughly mixed, baked on a griddle; served with butter and sugar, or syrup.
CORN SOUP—Fresh green corn partly grated off the cob and placed aside; the rest on the cob boiled in chicken broth till tender, then strain it off on to the grated pulp, boil up, season with butte!, salt, nutmeg and a little sugar, they pass it through a fine sieve into an equal quantity of Vélouté sauce. Another way is to take canned corn, pound it, rub it through a sieve, boil it with milk, then mix it with Vélonté sauce.
CORN AND TOMATO SOUP—Canned, or corn cut from the cob, passed through a mincing machine, then rubbed through a fine sieve, the purée thus obtained boiled in a Vélouté sauce, then combined with an equal quantity of tomato purée.
ROAST CORN IN EAR—Young green corn with the thick outer husks removed, the inner leaves after removing the silk, tied at the top, slowly roasted till done; served with the green covering; cut top and bottom so as be removed easily.
POP CORN—A variety of corn that is held in a wire basket over heat enough to burst or pop it; it can then be cemented together into balls with butter and syrup, etc.
ROAST GREEN CORN—Young green corn stripped and the silk removed, arranged in a buttered baking pan, seasoned with salt, white pepper and melted butter, slowly baked, basted and turned till done.
CORN STARCH—A preparation of the inner part of corn used in making blanc-manges, thickening soups, sauces, etc.
STEWED CORN, CREOLE STYLE—Canned corn, or corn cooked and cut from the cob, mixed with an equal quantity of peeled and cooked tomatoes, a grating of onion and garlic, salt, pepper and butter, boiled down thick; served as a vegetable.
'CORN SALAD — Called " Doucette " by the French, is a herb used in mixing salads; sometimes made into a salad by itself; is good to mix with lettuce salad, giving it a slightly bitter taste; it resembles somewhat a cabbage lettuce in appearance and growth.