Kitchen & Pantry

Cornmeal, finally!

It’s something I’ve been searching for for the longest time. I knew it was essential for baking real corn muffins but imported food items, especially those that are not all that popular in the Philippines, are not always easy to find. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I was able to buy yellow cornmeal at The Landmark in TriNoma. I just baked a dozen corn muffins a la Kenny Rogers but I’m reserving that for the noche buena blog section (take a peak) which goes live on December 12th. Now, I look forward to making my own corn tortillas so I can cook some chicken enchiladas. :) cornmeal or harina de maiz

What exactly is cornmeal? The cornmeal box says “harina de maiz” which literally translates to corn flour. But if you look closely at the cornmeal in the photo, it doesn’t resemble flour at all. Recipezaar’s kitchen dictionary says it is dried ground corn. Wikipedia says there is steel ground cornmeal and stone ground cornmeal.

Steel ground yellow cornmeal, common mostly in the United States, has the husk and germ of the maize kernel almost completely removed. It is conserved almost indefinitely if stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

Stone ground cornmeal retains some of the hull and germ, lending a little more flavor and nutrition to recipes. It is more perishable, but will store longer if refrigerated.

My boxes (I bought two!) of Albers yellow cornmeal says transfer the contents into an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for longer shelf life. I am assuming, therefore, that it is stone ground cornmeal. I can’t complain about the flavor — the muffins were just gorgeous.

So, with two boxes of cornmeal in the kitchen, and having successfully baked corn muffins a la Kenny Rogers, we’re having chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight and, tomorrow, I hope to make some corn dogs with the cornmeal as well. And, perhaps, a large tamale pie for the New Year. :)

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