With President's Day just past, much of the pressure cooker political scene easing and Covid control getting stronger--it is time to treat yourself to the healthy and fun benefits of blue corn. You might be scratching your head. What can blue corn possibly do for me? Amazingly, blue corn is one of the healthiest foods on this planet.
Did you know that blue corn is the only known food to possess all the amino acids, vitamins and minerals to support good health? Most anthropologists agree that if it were not for blue corn the ancient Anasazis would have perished. The missing amino acid that is prevalent in blue corn that other corns do not have is lysine. Actually other corns do have lysine, but not in a form human stomachs can digest it.
The two most popular forms of blue corn are blue corn flour or meal and masa. Blue corn by the way is always in short supply. Why? Because blue corn was originally cultivated by the 19 Pueblos in New Mexico and was grown for their religious purposes, not for food. Primarily, it was originally used by the men of the Pueblo for Kiva ceremonies. The only exception is the Zuni Pueblo, which is maternal or femine controlled whereas the rest are paternal.
The bottom line is there is limited availability of seed corn and the corn was never developed to be tall, productive and high yielding., adding to the limited supply.
In our spice business we carry high quality pure blue corn that is pinon smoked and ground by the Pueblo Indians. Due to limited availability of blue corn, many who sell blue corn products "fill" them or blend in white or yellow corn. We DO not do that--ours are all pure...hence healthier!
And as our weekly special, we are offering our blue corn products--blue corn flour, blue corn muffin and pancake mix and blue corn masa at 20% off.
When substituting blue corn for white wheat flour, it is best to treat it like whole wheat flour and just substitute it for half of the flour called for in a recipe. Following are two of my favorite blue corn recipes-- Blue Corn Parfait Bread and Blue Corn Crusted Chile Rellenos.
We are registering more and more people for our classes and our Oaxaca Culinary Tour and would love to have you join us. We still have a few openings for our Take a Tortilla and...class this week on February 18 and the Taco Mania class March 4.
And in less than a month, our week long class is finally starting. We still have openings and would love to cook with you. It is set for March 15 - 19, 2021.
Blue Corn Parfait Bread
The best blue cornmeal is smoked in adobe ovens and then lava-wheel ground to a fine flour consistency. With the popularity of blue corn, a lot of blue corn on the market is “filled,” or blended with white or yellow corn. For the best flavor, buy pure blue cornmeal, suc as our Pecos Valley Spice Co. The moist quality of this bread has long made it a favorite with campers and picnickers.
Yield: 9-12 servings
1 cup blue corn flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoons salt
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 cups cooked or canned whole-kernel corn, drained
¼ pound Monterey Jack cheese or Cheddar cheese, or a combination of the two, sliced ¼ inch thick
¼ cup sliced jalapeno chiles, either pickled or fresh
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch round or square cake pan. Mix the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center. Add eggs, butter and sour cream and blend thoroughly. Fold in corn kernels.
2. Pour almost half the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with the sliced cheese and chiles. Pour the remaining batter over cheese and chiles and smooth to cover the filling. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes our clean. Serve warm.
BLUE CORN CRUSTED CHILES RELLENOS
The traditional chile relleno. Serve as a main dish or as a vegetable dish.
Yield: 4-6 servings
12 large, mild green chiles, parched & peeled with stems on, or you can use three, 8-oz. cans of whole green chiles
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 12 long, narrow strips
Vegetable oil for frying
Red Chile Sauce or salsa as desired, optional
Romaine lettuce leaves and tomato wedges, optional for serving
- Insert cheese strips into chiles, using the small slit that was cut for steaming (or cut a small slit just below the stem.) Make sure that the cheese strips do not burst the chiles or overfill them. Drain chiles thoroughly between paper towels to ensure that the batter will coat them well. Prepare your choice of batters. The blue corn batter clings best if made about an hour before frying.
- For the Blue Corn Crusted ones, preheat 3 to 4 inches of oil to 375 F in a deep heavy skillet, large saucepan, or deep-fat fryer. Dip the stuffed chiles in the batter. Place in hot oil and fry until golden. Tongs work best to hold and turn them. Drain well on paper towels. Serve piping hot with chile sauce.
- For an attractive serving place on rinsed and drained Romaine lettuce leaves with a tomato wedge in between each chile.
BLUE CORN CRUST:
Crisp and crunchy. I like this batter best when made with blue corn flour. This is best made about an hour before you fry them.
Yield: enough batter for 12 chiles
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup blue corn flour
- In a medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and corn flour. Blend the milk and eggs, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. If necessary, add a little more milk to achieve a smooth batter that will adhere to the chiles.