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Yes! You CAN Eat Indian Corn! And it is Yummy!
Submitted by Pam on Tue, 09/28/2010 - 01:38
You see why I have ears and ears of Indian Corn laying around! I consider it eye candy! That blue one on the left is my absolute favorite.
But eat it? Not only is it too pretty to eat but it is hard as a rock!
However.......... in the interest of finding out, I decided to sacrifice three of the least attractive ears in my collection
Since we have had a unusually cool summer this year, the Indian Corn is not yet ready to harvest. I am using Indian Corn harvested last fall and dried in my garage all year. My sweetie hangs several ears together from the garage rafters slipping a plastic bag over the top to keep the dust away.
Fresh Indian Corn from the this year's harvest is not dry enough for grinding - you will need to let it dry a few months.
Removing the kernels from the husks is very easy as they pop right off when you apply gentle pressure with your fingers. There may be bits of the husk attached which can be removed by swiriling around in a colander.
I was feeling quite timid about this little experiment - mainly because I had no clue what I was doing! So I first removed just these few kernels to see how they would respond to whirling around in my Cuisinart.
Very noisy! I will give it that! But not an efficient way to grind Indian Corn!
I am aware that there is a wonderful machine available for grinding grain, but since I don't own one, I wanted to see if I could find a tool more commonly found in kitchens that would work.
After totaling my spice grinder and watching as the kernels moved through my grinder unscathed, I moved on to my, vintage, workhorse Oster blender that has not failed me in 25 years of service!
Just look at this! Once the powdery mixture in my blender was run through a fairly fine strainer, I had lovely fine cornmeal and chunks about the size of coarse polenta or grits.
I was feeling pretty satisfied with my results; but, thinking that I might have overlooked something, I turned one last time to google.
Now, I have to tell you I have been searching for answers to my questions about Indian Corn on two separate trips through Google land - and found little that was of any help. But on this day I hit on the right combination of words to produce answers! "How to grind Indian Corn"!
I found these three really useful and informative posts. I think you will find them interesting reading!
Added 9/28: Be sure to check out Fay's comment below for some great info about grain mills for home use. I see one in MY future!
Three 8" ears of Indian Corn yielded 1 1/4 cup of fine cornmeal and about 3/4 cup of course grits.
Actually, I did try running the "grits" through the blender a couple more times, but the process yielded only a little more cornmeal and didn't reduce the size of the "grit" kernels much. But - it is an older blender so maybe your blender will do a better job.
Just to be on the safe side, I only processed about 1/3 cup of kernels at a time.
While reading instructions for "Popping Indian Corn", suddenly, out of the deep, dark recesses of my mind - a memory! A friend had given me five gorgeous little ears of miniature Indian Corn grown in his garden for that exact purpose!
Of course, I would never think of doing such a thing to little beauties like these. I simply saved them from year to year as fall decorations and forgot their original purpose.
So now, armed and dangerous and getting more curious (and excited) by the minute - I made cornbread, grits and popped corn two ways!
I chose this recipe for maple cornbread for two reasons. First, it is from King Arthur Flour and I haven't had one of their recipes fail me yet!
And secondly, I thought the addition of maple syrup would compliment the flavor of the Indian Corn
And I was right on both counts! This turned out to be the most delicious cornbread either of us have ever eaten.
Perhaps a bit more work than most of us moms would normally have time for - preparing the Indian Corn - but I think kids would get a huge kick out of stripping the ears and helping to mix the batter! (The recipe is easy peasy - no mixer required.)
Just a little comparison to "regular" grits! We eat grits at our house - my sweetie loves them.
But I am not wholeheartedly recommending cooking Indian Corn grits for breakfast! Normal cooking time for grits (see Making Cornbread and Grits) is about 30 to 40 minutes. I cooked mine for over an hour and my grits were still, as my sweetie referred to them, "al dente".
Actually - the flavor is delicious - but not creamy enough for my taste. He loved them!
Pop Corn! Really yummy!
I removed about two thirds of the kernels from one little ear. And, can you believe it, the Luminary Queen didn't have a single paper bag in the whole house?
So, I popped the loose kernels the old fashioned way - in a kettle on the stove. Refer to Popping Indian Corn for instructions.
I just HAD to try popping some right on the ear, so in lieu of the paper bag, I tried using a pyrex casserole.
Fun to watch! I think I would stick to popping loose kernels in the future. But it would be fun for kids to pop the corn right on the cob and see where popcorn comes from!
Popped mini Indian Corn is so yummy. You just have got to give it a try. Get some at the farmer's market this fall, dry it out, and have fun on movie night in January!
Do not purchase Indian Corn you are planning to eat anywhere other than a farm; or, if you purchase at a farmer's market, make certain the corn hasn't been treated for preservation.
After storing and drying, I would suggest quickly rinsing the ears in warm water and immediately drying with an absorbent towel. If the kernels are still moist when removed from the cob, dry them out before grinding or popping.