Too Much Cornmeal
August 10, 2010 6:42 PM   Subscribe

I've recently found myself in possession of 7.5 pounds (five full cartons) of corn meal. What can I do with this great corny bounty? Bonus points for being able to use as much as possible in a single batch of *something.* Projects, crafts, household tips, or recipe suggestions needed. Difficulty: Please NO corn bread or polenta recipes.

It's plain old Quaker yellow corn meal, no additives, not self-rising. Fwiw, I'm gluten intolerant if that helps with recipe ideas. I've already seen this thread. Thanks a bunch!
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I just had, for the first time, Indian Pudding which doesn't use a lot of cornmeal, but would be a great dessert to have after a big dinner or to bring to friends'. It's basically a cornmeal+milk mush with some seasonsing and molasses. Completely amazing served with ice cram.
posted by jessamyn at 6:47 PM on August 10, 2010

You sure it's corn meal?
posted by antgly at 6:47 PM on August 10, 2010

posted by BZArcher at 6:48 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @ Antgly: Well I suppose there's the remote possibility that it's a pot of petunias or the governor of Idaho, but I'm pretty sure it's corn meal given that the package looks exactly like this. ;-)
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 6:51 PM on August 10, 2010 [8 favorites]

Rustic tarts. Fill with whatever you want, and put the corn meal in a blender for a minute to make it into corn flour.

Tamales usually use masa, which is corn meal with lime added to break down the corn.
posted by asphericalcow at 6:51 PM on August 10, 2010

Didn't see the gluten intolerant part, but you could probably substitute corn flour for flour with reasonable results. The flour just gives it a smoother texture.
posted by asphericalcow at 6:54 PM on August 10, 2010

Corn meal is a good nonstick buffer. Toss a liberal amount down between a pizza and stone/tray or loaf of bread/baking pan before putting it in the oven, and it'll come out a lot cleaner without so much sticking.

It's also great (when seasoned properly) to crust chicken or fish fillets in before frying. (Mmm, fried catfish.) It's got a much better post-fry texture and flavor than just plain flour.
posted by phunniemee at 6:58 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Neighborhood fish fry! With hush puppies! Mmmmm....
posted by MultiFaceted at 7:06 PM on August 10, 2010

I can't believe no one has suggested polenta yet. So, so good and there are a ton of recipes on the internet.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:08 PM on August 10, 2010

Someone did mention polenta.
posted by rhizome at 7:13 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

Dammit, I hate it when people do that and I did it! I blame it on the beer and lack of sleep, so, so sorry :\
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:19 PM on August 10, 2010

How about donating some of it to the food bank?
posted by wwartorff at 7:23 PM on August 10, 2010

MaryDellamorte: the OP said "Please NO corn bread or polenta recipes."

If you're looking for non-food uses, cornmeal (or, according to the internet, a mixture of cornmeal and coffee grinds) can be used as a substitute for sand in kids' sand tables. Cornmeal can also be used as a dry shampoo.
posted by Orinda at 7:25 PM on August 10, 2010

MaryDellamorte: I blame my non-preview on beer and lack of sleep too. Apologies!
posted by Orinda at 7:26 PM on August 10, 2010

wwartoff has it. Donate to a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen or whatever. The scale should tell you that 7.5 pounds of corn meal goes into 40 people easily and helps stave stave off their hunger much better than it thrashes into some esoteric "craft project" for one.

As a matter of fact, show up with a recipe and the other ingredients (cornbread, polenta either would be great) and cook it for 'em.
posted by leafwoman at 7:48 PM on August 10, 2010

what about corn tortillas? It's easiest to make them if you have a tortilla press. I'm sure you could make the dough, then freeze it in small batches to use when you want fresh tortillas. Pre made corn tortillas tend to be crumbly when defrosted, but would be great for enchiladas. Other items to make: tacos, corn chips, cups for chalupas, tostadas.

Also, though this may be too polenta-like, grits.
posted by annsunny at 8:14 PM on August 10, 2010

Fried cornmeal mush. Awesome.
posted by JayRwv at 8:31 PM on August 10, 2010

How about just adding a little bit to lentil dishes or bean dishes? I haven't tried that but you can add almost anything to these!
posted by rainy at 8:47 PM on August 10, 2010

Brew a batch of Classic American Pilsner. (Link goes to awesome PDF article about classic American pilsner.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:20 AM on August 11, 2010

It's great for on your lawn and garden, killing a number of fungi you don't want around, as well as keeping some varieties of weeds from sprouting. Also fertilizes the dirt.

But I'd probably donate it to a shelter or food bank. Times are hard right now, and these places are having trouble getting enough food to give out.
posted by Orb at 1:45 AM on August 11, 2010

Start a compost pile and use those boxes of GMO'd corn meal as your base.
posted by watercarrier at 1:58 AM on August 11, 2010

posted by goethean at 9:57 AM on August 11, 2010

I've added cornmeal to chili to thicken it up a bit.
posted by kitcat at 12:05 PM on August 11, 2010

Corn tortillas, like tamales, are made with masa, not cornmeal. Grits are also not made of cornmeal but instead from hominy (which is a corn product that, like masa, has been nixtalized, or has had alkali added.

Is spoon bread out? It's neither cornbread nor polenta, but resembles both in orign. It's basically a cornmeal souffle.).
posted by devinemissk at 1:52 PM on August 11, 2010

Sorry, nixtamalized.
posted by devinemissk at 1:53 PM on August 11, 2010

Also, what about johnny cakes? Yum. I might make johnny cakes this weekend.
posted by devinemissk at 1:56 PM on August 11, 2010

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