I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for P.A.N. Cornmeal. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation
Cornmeal is one of those baking products I don’t use very often. Oh sure, I’ve made cornmeal muffins and used it when baking bread to keep it from sticking. Maybe it’s because I grew up on corn meal mush, a hot cereal we ate for breakfast far too often, it’s not been an ingredient that I use often. Perhaps the smell and taste of the mush has been ingrained in my brain, and that’s kept me from exploring this versatile kitchen pantry staple more.
But thinking back, I have had meals that included cornmeal that I did love. Like the homemade tamales wrapped in corn husks that a friend’s mom used to bring to work. Oh my, those were amazingly delicious and a special treat we looked forward to. But beyond polenta, which I’ve never really been fond of, I just couldn’t come up with another dish that included cornmeal. I concluded it was time to correct that, so I ventured over to the P.A.N. recipes Tumblr page and let me tell you, I’ve been eating a lot of cornmeal, and I didn’t even know it!
For example, corn dogs, though I eat a vegetarian variety, it’s the cornmeal crust that I love so much. I may try my hand soon at making homemade veggie corn dogs since my grocery store no longer carries the ones I loved. I was also excited to discover a recipe for homemade corn tortillas. I’m not a fan of flour tortillas and have always purchased the corn variety, so I had to try out their recipe to make my own.
I also checked out new recipes for things like polenta cake, hush puppies, and Johhny Cake (how did I not know that they’re corn pancakes? I read all of the Little House on the Praire books, and they were a staple, somehow I missed that they were very different from the flour version I grew up on and have never liked.
White Cornmeal vs. Yellow Cornmeal
In my recipe searching I stumbled upon the fact that there are several types of cornmeal – I had no idea! Yes, there’s the standard yellow cornmeal I’m used to, but there’s also sweet corn, and white. The white cornmeal has a milder taste than the yellow I’m used to. It’s perfect for stuffed flatbreads, custard, corn flatbread, and more. I’m excited to give it a try in a few recipes. The first in P.A.N.’s recipe for Arepa
I’m excited to give the P.A.N. cornmeal in a few recipes, but since I’ve never cooked with it before, I started with a recipe quick and easy recipe from the P.A.N. website. recipe for Arepa Telita (Thin Arepa). It’s my first culinary exploration into white cornmeal.
- 2 ½ cups P.A.N. Pre-cooked White Corn Meal
- 3 ¼ cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pour water and salt in a bowl. Slowly mix P.A.N. Pre-cooked White Corn Meal, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Knead for 2 minutes, and then, let the mixture rest for two more minutes. (It's a bit like kneading mashed potatoes)
- Divide dough into 10-12 equal portions, form balls and shape them into thin discs about 5-6 inches wide and ¼ inch thick.
- Cook both sides on a hot grill or pan until golden brown and crusty. (I used a tiny bit of canola oil to keep them from sticking)
- Serve with butter and grated white cheese.
Do you have a favorite white cornmeal recipe? I’d love to hear about it!