Cornmeal is ground from dried maize cleaned from the outer hull, germ, and bran. Cornmeal is a staple food and one of the most versatile grains you can use in your kitchen.
Cornmeal, which is typically made from white or yellow corn, can be produced in a variety of different ways. This wonderful grain is used to make many other dishes with fine, medium, and coarse ground.
Usage and types
Cornmeal can be purchased at most grocery stores. It comes in various forms, such as fine, medium, and coarse. Your recipe will determine the type of corn to use, flour, starch, yellow meal, white flour, and hominy (a kind of grit).
Cornmeal flour is also called cornstarch in other cuisines. It is also a common ingredient in a variety of dishes. You can use it in place of all-purpose flour in baked goods, or you can use it as an ingredient in breading for fried foods like chicken or fish.
You can also use it as a thickener for soups and stews by adding it directly to the pot before bringing the liquid to a boil or by using it to make dumplings as part of a stew recipe.
Polenta, another name for cornmeal marketed and sold, is a favorite of many people because of its versatility in cooking and finer texture. The difference between Polenta and Cornmeal is the grain. The consistency of the polenta is more refined than the Cornmeal and takes less time to cook.
As mentioned earlier, Cornmeal can be found in most grocery stores, but some varieties may contain gluten or other ingredients that aren’t suitable for everyone. If you’re allergic to gluten or have celiac disease, make sure the type or brand you choose is labeled “gluten-free” or “naturally gluten-free.”
As a grain, it is categorized as part of a healthy diet. Here are a few main benefits:
- suitable for gluten-free diets if labeled as such
- high in fiber and supports bowel movements
- can help improve cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol levels.
- a good source of protein and an excellent source of complex carbohydrates
- contains vitamin A and is low in fat
How to cook and store
To cook plain Cornmeal with water, follow these steps:
1.) Add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of Cornmeal to a saucepan over medium heat; constantly stir until the mixture boils.
2.) Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 20 minutes, occasionally stirring (do not lift lid while cooking).
This grain should be stored in airtight containers and kept away from moisture, light, and heat.
How to add flavor to your cornmeal dish
The most common way to add this type of grain is by cooking it with butter, salt, and milk.
Flavor options include:
- Fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, scallion, and tarragon
- fresh Garlic or Garlic powder
- fresh Onion or Onion powder
- Add a little heat with chili powder, smoked paprika, and Noubess hot sauces.
- Add bold flavors with Noubess spices and seasoning.
- Vegetables such as okra, watercress, spinach, kale, and tomato
- Add smoked or cooked meat, fish, or poultry
Recipe ideas you may want to try
- Cornmeal and Langoustines Spoon Appetizers
- Cornmeal with Blue Crabs and Spinach a One-Pot Meal
- Cornmeal with Spinach (Polenta with Spinach)
- Sweet and savory Cornmeal
- Polenta/Cornmeal with Djon-Djon
- How to make Corn Akasan
- How to make Polenta with Flaxseeds
The above information should give you a good overview of cornmeal and its proper use. This grain is an excellent alternative to side dishes, such as potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice, and other grains, such as bulgur and millet. Cornmeal is a tasty and nutritious grain that can also be eaten as a side dish and has a sweet flavor that makes it a delicious addition to desserts like cornbread, muffins, and cookies.
Cornmeal is an easy type of food to cook, and as you can see, the possibilities are endless. And since it’s readily available at most grocery stores, it is cheap and easy to start using right away in your favorite recipes. So get out there and explore the world of cornmeal—you may be surprised at all the delicious things you can do with it!