Saturday, November 12, 2016

Grist Mill Cooking

During the summer and fall we drive over to a Historic Grist mill that's a few miles from the Range and after biking or walking the trails along the river, we pick up some of their stone ground cornmeal.  It's unlike anything you can get in the stores, and it's pretty hard to go back to "corn dust" once you've tried it.  
They were closed this summer for some upkeep on the structure, which is some 150 years, so when they reopened we were able to go over and stock up before they closed for the winter as the cornmeal freezes nicely in ziplock bags.
At their request, we picked up a big bag for our gunblogger friends:
Sherry's Place
Both said they may post what they do with it.  I've already heard back from Sherry as to how good the cornbread she made with it was.

This weekend, I decided to do three recipes with it and was very happy with the results.
My favorite was the cornmeal pancakes.  Not only are they super light and fluffy they have the perfect little "crunch" of the cornmeal amidst the fluffiness. The recipe is adapted from one in the Graue Mill's Brochure (I soured the milk and added slightly more sugar)
Before syrup - see how light and fluffy?

This makes 8 pancakes, double if it cooking for a larger group.

You will need:
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
enough milk to make 3/4 cup total liquid

2 Tablespoons melted butter

1 egg separated

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons sugar plus a pinch
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add ACV to milk to make 3/4 cups total and let sit in small cereal bowl

In a  large bowl mix dry ingredients, then add just the egg yolk.  Put the egg white from the separated egg into a clean, dry bowl, large enough to whip it with a mixer

Take a hand mixer and whip the egg white with a pinch of sugar until you have a soft meringue that makes small peaks when you pull the mixer out.

Add 2 Tablespoons of melted butter to the milk mixture and stir into dry ingredients.
Carefully fold in the whipped egg until incorporated, but be VERY gentle with it.

Cook on an oiled griddle.

Next up is a recipe for some homemade corn tortillas for carne asada tacos. (Yes, I don't like raw tomatoes, hence my tacos are a bit "nekked" with just lettuce and a little Mexican cheese.)

Note:  making these from just stone ground cornmeal is not going to work, you need the traditional Mexican  masa harina flour to which you add just a bit of cornmeal for a slightly crunchier texture. Masa harina is made by drying field corn (maize) and then treating it in a solution of lime and water. This loosens the hulls from the kernels and softens the corn.  In addition, the lime reacts with the corn so that the nutrient niacin can be assimilated by the digestive track.

Corn Tortillas

1 and 1/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons masa harina
2 Tablespoons cornmeal
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lard
About 1 cup hot water, or more as needed
Flour for kneading

Combine the masa, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl; stir in the oil. Slowly stream in the water while mixing with your hand or a wooden spoon until the dough comes together into a ball.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is smooth and elastic — just a minute or two. Wrap in plastic, and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

Break off pieces of the dough (you’re shooting for 12 to 16 tortillas total), and lightly flour them. Put them between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and press them in a tortilla press,use a rolling pin, or roll them out or press them with your hands to a diameter of 4 to 6 inches. Begin to cook the tortillas as you finish pressing or rolling them.

Put a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas, 1 or 2 at a time, until brown spots appear on the bottom, about a minute. Flip, and do the same on the other side. Wrap the cooked tortillas in a towel to keep them warm; serve immediately, or cool and store tightly wrapped in the fridge for a few days.

Lastly, for dinner.  Pork chops dredged in egg and milk and coated with crushed cornflakes to which some lemon pepper was added, baked at 350 F. for 50 minutes (these were thick cut) served with veggies, garlic mashed potatoes, and a side of stone ground corn muffins.
Partner in Grime went and changed into more formal dining attire, given our corn themed meals.
 Served with a side of stone ground corn muffins.

Metric ingredients provided for the HOTR Canadian readership. Note: the conversion came from "the Metric Kitchen" so if a chicken explodes I won't be held responsible. :-)

1 cup yellow cornmeal Plus 2 Tablespoons (175 grams)
1 cup all-purpose flour Plus 2 Tablespoons (140 grams)
1 tablespoon baking powder (15 mL)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (65 grams)
1 teaspoon salt (7 grams)
1 cup milk plus 2 Tablespoons (270 mL)
2 large eggs (make sure you use ones from Metric chickens)
1/2 stick butter, melted (60 grams)
3 Tablespoons honey (65 mL)
1/4 teaspoon Mexican vanilla 

Heat oven to 400 degrees (about 200 C). Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole milk and eggs. In a small glass bowl in the microwave, melt butter and then add the honey to that. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Bake in a greased 12 muffin tin, or use the little paper muffin liners. Bake for 14-15 minutes, just until golden.


  1. Replies
    1. They are closed for the winter but their website says they still have some cornmeal for sale to ship after Nov. 15 (likely as they were closed so long, they had extra corn to grind). The site said: "WE ARE HAPPY TO SHIP CORNMEAL ON OR AFTER NOVEMBER 15TH. THE WEATHER MUST BE COOL SO THE CORNMEAL DOES NOT SPOIL IN TRANSIT.

      To order cornmeal, please email Cathy Kolessar, Director of Operations after, November 10th at

  2. Still aim to get cooking this week. I had no ingredients to actually bake stuff and no pans. But that's been remedied now. You may have started me on something here. Stay tuned for reports of culinary success.

  3. Just ordered two 5 lb. bags a few minutes ago. Can't wait for it to get here so I can try out all three off the recipes! Yum Yum!


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