I've got about 5 lbs. of shucked blue maize (did I mention I kind of have a farm in Africa...). I'm thinking about blue corn tortillas and realize I need to cook it with an alkaline first, and found this helpful recipe:
however, it seemed strange to me that it has you grind the corn wet? Anyone with any experience on this? I asked the Mexican moms at school, but they all sort of looked embarrassed and told me their mothers know how. Besides, with that much of it, I was thinking I'd like to save some for later...

I figure I might also make pozole too, so any recipe selections are welcome as well. And, finally, the kid is doing a unit on Native Americans at school and they're having a pow wow party. Any good thoughts for something to make with some of my blue corn for a bunch of second graders that would have Native American roots? corn cakes, I suppose...but wouldn't it be nice to do something a bit more exciting?

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susan G. December 9, 2010
I checked the link, and saved it for Thanksgiving. Let's give them the real thing!Here's another one with similar direction: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sioux-Indian-Pudding/Detail.aspx
Food O. December 7, 2010
Fabulous! We have something in common - I'm an RPCV too (from Thailand) and I lived in S.A. for a couple years as a kid.
I'm thinking some Blue Cornmeal Muffins with Dulce De Leche: http://foododelmundo.com/2010/09/08/blue-cornmuffins-with-dulce-de-leche/ or a grander version from Sky High Cakes Blue Cornmeal Cake: http://foododelmundo.com/2010/01/17/blue-cornmeal-cake/

Good Luck - be sure to let us know how the grinding turns out.
innoabrd December 7, 2010
Thanks, folks!

Never even thought to look in McGee for this!

Won't do popcorn, as susan says, all popcorn looks white once it's popped, so why bother? Thinking about trying this for the school event:
and maybe serving slices with a sweet pumpkin relish/jam so I get all "three sisters" in.

The corn was grown for me in Swaziland. I have a homestead there from my Peace Corps days (92-94). I had brought a packet of seed back from the US a few years ago, grew a few stocks in my garden in Joburg and then took the ears to them for seed. Maize is the staple crop in most of Southern Africa, but mostly hybrid white. It's all what you would call in the US, field corn, ie. starchy rather than sweet. Mostly, they grind it and make a stiff porridge which is served with everything: meat, beans, vegetables, etc. Traditional food in this region has none of the interest and excitement of west africa...

OK, so pozole and tortillas, here I come!
thirschfeld December 6, 2010
Blue corn crepes! Fresh masa is ground wet. Many times you can buy fresh masa at Mexican groceries. It makes for great totillas and excellent tamales. The dry stuff in the bag is great but it is instant masa and is handled differently. Lucky you to have such beautiful blue corn.
susan G. December 6, 2010
I'm reading "Blue Corn and Chocolate" by Elizabeth Rozin. "Blue corn is usually dried whole or ground into a meal for breads, gruels, and dumplings" by natives of the American Southwest. However, that wonderful blue color seems to need the alkaline treatment (traditionally, saltbush or juniper ashes) -- but "can be obtained with ordinary baking soda or calcium carbonate."
I know there is commercially available blue corn for popping (which looks white when popped), but I think it is a different variety. And also FYI, popcorn was known by the ancient Americans.
I'd love to hear how this all ends up. ...and was the corn grown locally (to you)?
betteirene December 6, 2010
Blue Corn Muffins with Pumpkin Butter and some kind of jerky/pemmican.
hardlikearmour December 6, 2010
from On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee: Wet-milled Corn: Masa, Tortillas, Tamales, Chips. Tortillas, tamales, and corn chips are made from corn grains that are milled when wet, after they have undergone the preliminary cooking step called nixtamalization. The corn is first cooked in a solution (0.8-5%) of calcium hydroxide, or lime, for a few minutes to an hour, then is left to steep and slowly cool for 8 to 16 hours. During the steeping, the alkalinity softens the hull and cell walls throughout, causes the storage proteins to bond to each other, and breaks apart some of the corn oil into excellent emulsifiers (mono- and diglycerides). After steeping, the soaking solution and softened hulls are washed away, and the kernels, including the germ, are then stone ground to produce the dough-like material called masa. Stone grinding cuts the kernels, mashes them, and kneads the mass, mixing together starch, protein, oils, emulsifiers, and cell wall materials, and the lime's molecule-bridging calcium. With further kneading, this combination develops into a cohesive, plastic dough.
Hope this answers at least some of your questions.
If you dry mill you could make grits, cornmeal or corn flour instead. Maybe make some blue corn pancakes for the kids.
drbabs December 6, 2010
Wow, you have an exciting life! If you can pop it like popcorn, you can make thirschfeld's tipsy maple corn http://www.food52.com/recipes/7133_tipsy_maple_corn
for teh adults!
mrslarkin December 6, 2010
wow! that's beautiful! Not sure if Native Americans made popcorn, BUT can you pop it like popcorn?? (for the kids). Popcorn is very exciting, I think. ;-)
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