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Cornmeal mush is good if you have it ground coarse. Boil it up like grits, though it looks more like cream of wheat. Using broth instead of water helps. Stirring in some sauteed onions really helps. Salt and pepper it, and eat hot. If you've had too much of it recently, try a shot of steak sauce on it one time and next time stir in a spoonful of pepper jelly or leftover fish bits. Stirring in some leftover gravy is really good, especially if you scraped a lot of scorched meat into the gravy. Mold the leftovers like a loaf.

Next day, slice any leftover mush into slabs and fry, preferably in sausage grease (lots of flavor) or oil you've used to sautee onions or garlic. Melt a slice of cheese over it if you have any cheese, and treat it like a hamburger patty.

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  • 9 years later...

Dent corn, that is field corn meant for animals, is cheapest to store.  Flint corn is what the American Heritage Cookbook says was the traditional corn meal corn. 

If grinding with a stone grinder it can glaze the stone, so switch to a metal grinding burr or run some wheat through immediately afterward to clean the stone burr.  Grind in small amounts or keep refrigerated as it goes rancid quickly.  One cup cornmeal yields 4 cups cooked.  Ground corn is slow to absorb liquids, so old timey recipes called for precooking the corn (as mush) or long hard beating of the batter.  Sour milk and soda used for leavening give the finished product a more tender crumb than sweet milk and baking powder.  Here are some of my collected rock-bottom, el-cheapo old timey dried corn recipes.  These use little or no added flour. I collected them with the idea of utilizing stored whole corn kernels which do store long term, but go bad quickly once ground.

Lets start with the simplest recipes and work up.


CORNMEAL MUSH (Basic Breakfast)                               

3 cups water                                                                                         1 c cornmeal                                        

1 1/2 tsp salt                                                                                         1 c cold water

3 more cups water                                                                             

Mix meal and the 1 cup cold water (cold water avoids lumps).  Bring remaining 3 cups water and the salt to a boil.  Gradually mix meal mixture into boiling water, stirring constantly.  Boil until thickened stirring constantly. 

Then cover, lower heat to a mere simmer and cook 10 min longer.  With the leftover mush (if any) make:  



4 c boiling water                                                                                  1 c corn meal

1 tsp salt

Boil water; add corn meal & salt while stirring.  Mix well.  Boil 10 min, stirring constantly.  Transfer to a double boiler, steam over boiling water 30 min. 



Pour leftover, cooked mush while still warm into a shallow pan so it is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Chill in refrigerator, or in cool place.  When firm, roll in flour, season to taste, and fry in hot fat (bacon grease butter or margarine).  Serve with syrup like little pancakes.



3 c hot cornmeal mush                                                       1 egg

Mazola                                                                                   Karo

Fine dry bread crumbs

Pour the mush, while hot, in a small, deep pan first rinsed with cold water. When cold, turn out, slice crosswise, then in halves. Dip each piece in fine dry crumbs, then in the egg slightly beaten with one fourth cup cold water, then in crumbs again. In the meantime, heat enough Mazola in a deep fat frying kettle to half fill it. Put the slices in a frying basket and fry until golden brown in the Mazola which should be hot enough to brown a bit of bread in forty counts, 375 degrees F. by the frying thermometer. Drain on crumpled paper and serve as a vegetable, or as a breakfast or luncheon dish with Karo. 



3 1/2 cups cornmeal                                                           4 garlic sausages

8 cups water                                                                         salt

Boil the water with the salt. Pour the water over the cornmeal. Add sausages. Bring slowly to a boil and cook slowly for about 40 minutes.  Then serve.



1 c cornmeal                                                                         3 1/4 c water

1/2 tsp salt

Boil 2.25 cups water in heavy saucepan. In a separate bowl, mix the cornmeal, salt, and 1 cup cold water. Gradually add the cornmeal mixture to the boiling water, stirring well. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 10-minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. (Or prepare in double boiler to prevent scorching.)


Cornmeal Mush Option: Continue simmering for an additional 20-minutes, stirring occasionally (or 30-minutes total simmering time). Serve hot with butter, or honey, or milk, or sugar, if available.


Polenta Bake Option: Pour hot cornmeal mixture into a greased 9-inch pie pan or cake pan and spread evenly. Bake at 450°F for 20-minutes. Allow to cool. Cut into wedges and serve with any type of sauce (pizza, spaghetti, taco, etc.), or cheese, or butter, or honey.


Polenta Fry Option: Pour hot cornmeal mixture into a bread loaf pan. Allow to cool. Chill in the refrigerator until firm. Remove from the bread pan and cut into half-inch thick slices. Fry each slice in melted butter for 5-minutes on first side, flip, and fry 5-minutes of other side, or until brown and crisp. Serve with butter, honey, or milk, if available.



1-1/2 cups water                                                                  1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine

1 cup cornmeal                                                                    1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder                                                1 cup milk of your choice

3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat a 2-quart casserole or an 8-inch square pan with no-stick spray. Or you can coat the pan with solid vegetable shortening. Set the pan aside.

Bring the water and margarine to a boil on the stove in a 1-quart saucepan. While this is heating, combine the cornmeal, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water into the cornmeal mixture. Stir it up quickly with a whisk to prevent lumps. The cornmeal will swell up and absorb the water. Slowly add the milk to the hot cornmeal. If you add it too fast it will wind up lumpy, which is not real bad, but it’s better if you try to keep it smooth. So slowly stir in the milk, a little at a time. When all the milk is added, break the eggs into the bowl too. You don’t add the eggs before the milk because the hot cornmeal will cook them. Trust me, this is sort of an icky thing and difficult to rescue. The time it happened to me, I had to toss out the whole mess for the dogs. The milk cools down the cornmeal, making it the perfect temperature for adding eggs. After adding the eggs, beat the batter vigorously, or until the eggs are well incorporated. Then turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the bread at 375° for about 45 minutes. The top will be nicely browned and the mixture will jiggle a little bit when you shake the pan. Take it out of the oven and serve it hot.


This bread got its name from the way it’s served. Simply spoon it from the pan onto your plate. Some very popular restaurants in the South have become famous for their spoon bread. It’s traditional to serve it on Easter Sunday with a roasted ham or leg of lamb. It’s also nice with a large pot of baked beans or a roasted chicken. In a pinch I have prepared it with 2 eggs and it still turns out okay. I have also used 1 whole egg and 1/3-cup egg substitute with good results.


Assuming 8 servings; prepared with 3 whole eggs & 1/2-teaspoon salt

Per Serving: 101 Calories; 3g Fat (24.5% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 80mg Cholesterol; 225mg Sodium.  (info compiled using soy milk not cow’s milk)

Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat.


Light Version

8 servings; prepared with 1 whole egg and 1/3-cup egg whites or egg substitute & 1/4 teaspoon salt

Per Serving: 87 Calories; 1g Fat (15.6% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 27mg Cholesterol; 155mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat.



3 1/2 TB cornmeal                                                                               3 TB sugar

1/2 tsp nutmeg                                                                                     3 eggs, beaten

2 c milk

Boil milk;  when boiling, sprinkle in cornmeal.  Add sugar & nutmeg.  Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 min.  Gradually stir in the beaten eggs, stirring constantly.  Pour into pudding dish, set into a pan of water. 

Bake in mod. oven  about 30 min.  


HOECAKES  (bake or fry as resources permit)

2 c cornmeal                                                                                         1 tsp salt

2 c boiling water

Pour water over meal and salt and stir until cornmeal swells up and absorbs the water.  Let cool until you can handle it.  Shape into cakes1/2 inch thick and 3 inches across. Bake on griddle  or fry in bacon grease. Serve hot and crisp with margarine and syrup or molasses or honey.  (If you try the hoe thing, bake or clean hoe before a fire until half done, then flip them like pancakes to finish up. A little primitive, but it works well.)



1 c cornmeal                                                                         1/2 tsp salt

hot water                                                                                              2 TB flour

1/4 tsp baking powder                                                       oil

Combine the salt, flour, and cornmeal in a bowl. Add enough hot water to make a batter. Pour a little oil on the griddle. When it sizzles, add half the batter. Allow the cake to brown on one side. then flip to the other side (first add a little more oil to the griddle). An easy way to flip the cake is to put a plate on top of it, then lift the griddle and turn it upside down, holding the plate with the other hand. Slide the hoe cake, uncooked side down, back onto the re-oiled griddle. When done, repeat with the other half of the batter.



1 c cornmeal                                                                         1/2 tsp salt

3/4 c hot water                                                                    1 TB sugar if available

Mix everything and stir hard. Press into cakes about 1/2 inch thick.  Bake in Dutch oven 30 minutes. Or pan fry about 5 minutes on each side using a little hot fat or oil.



30 chips, 15 calories per chip

½ cup water                                                                          1 ½ tablespoons margarine

¼ to ½ teaspoon chili powder                                           1/8 to ¼ teaspoon garlic

1/8 teaspoon salt                                                                     powder

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

Preheat oven to 375 (moderate oven).  Lightly grease a baking sheet.  Heat water, margarine, and seasonings to boiling.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cornmeal and mix well.  Divide dough into 30 portions, using about 1 teaspoon dough each.  Roll into a ball about ¾ inch in diameter.

Place balls on baking sheet, about 3 inches apart.  Cover with wax paper and press with bottom of a glass until very thin, about 2 ½ inches in diameter.  Bake until lightly browned and crisp, about 15 minutes.  Cool on rack, store in airtight container. 


NO FLOUR CORNBREAD                                                     

2 c cornmeal                                                                                         2 c sour milk or buttermilk

1 tsp salt                                                                                                1 egg                                                       

3/4 tsp soda                                                                                          1 TB oil                                  

Sift meal and salt.  Dissolve soda in buttermilk or sour milk.  Beat in egg. Combine both mixtures, mix well. Pour into a  greased skillet, bake at 350 for about 35 min.


CORNMEAL SOUP (an idea learned from the Native Americans)

1 qt boiling broth                                                                                 1/4 c cornmeal

1/2 c cold water                                                                                   leftovers:meat, vegetables, or combination

Mix meal and cold water.  Stirring constantly, add hot broth and other cut up ingredients, stirring until thick (cheese is also excellent in this).


CORNMEAL PASTA              (Suggested for a pasta machine to save work, but can be rolled by hand)             

3/4 c fine cornmeal                                                                             1 egg

3/4 c bread flour                                                                                  1 egg white

1 TB oil

This is one of my few flour containing recipes, but is so unusual....! Combine, knead into a dough like‘regular’ pasta.  



1 tsp salt                                                                                                1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 c cornmeal                                                                                         1 tsp parsley

1 1/3 c boiling water                                                                           2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp minced onion                                                                              flour to dredge

Mix meal & salt.  Pour in boiling water and stir constantly to a smooth and thick mush.  Let cool.  Add all other ingredients except flour, mix well.  Form into desired dumplings, roll in flour and drop into any simmering stew and cover tightly. Steam 10-15 min.  Great with chili!


CORNMEAL COOKIES (yup, they are good, too –though they do use some flour so I use for special occasions only. I made my batch with half chicken fat and half cheap margarine.  Ate the whole batch with coffee, too.  ) 

3/4 c fat (oleo, butter, or chicken)                                                   1/2 c cornmeal                    

3/4 c sugar                                                                                            1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt                                                                                            1 egg                                     

1 c raisins, opt                                                                                      1 1/2 c flour                         

1 tsp vanilla

Cream fat and sugar.  Add egg, beat well.  Add remaining ingredients, mix well.  Drop by tsp. on greased cookie sheet.  Bake 15 min at 350.  For chocolate add 1/4 c cocoa and 1/4 c milk.  This came off a cornmeal commodities bag, and it made deliciously rich cookies.



1 qt milk                                                                                                 1/3 c cornmeal

1/2 c raisins                                                                                           1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c brn sugar                                                                                     1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger                                                                                       1 egg                                                                                     

Place milk in double boiler. Mix cornmeal and water, stirring to evenly moisten, and when milk is scalding hot, stir in cornmeal mixture.  Stir constantly, cook 20 min.  Pour into a pudding dish and stir in remaining ingredients except egg.  Mix well, and let cool, then stir in egg.  Bake in mod. oven (325-350) for 1 hour.  Serve warm with hard sauce or other sauce.  You may use cut up dates or prunes instead of

raisins if that is what you have.


ALL CORN TORTILLAS & TACO SHELLS (makes 7 six-inchers)                                     

1 c cornmeal                                                                         1/2 – 3/4 c water

Combine cornmeal, salt and 1/2 cup water to make a soft dough.  Add a little more water if needed.  Cover with soft cloth, let stand 30 min while meal absorbs water and softens.  Shape into 7 two-inch balls.  Press or roll into flat 6 inch circles.  For tortillas, fry on hot griddle for about 1 min until edges start to curl.  Flip over, fry another minute.  For chips, deep fry about20 sec in hot oil, remove with spoon and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt.  For Taco shells, Heat 1/3 cup oil in a skillet to 360 degrees. Slip in raw tortilla, after 1 sec. time use a spatula to fold in half.  Insert spatula in fold, press down and fry30-60 sec until golden.  Turn over and fry the other side.



12 c yellow cornmeal                                                          1/2 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper                                                                        4 boneless, skinless

2 TB veg. oil                                                                            chicken breasts (1 lb)

Mix cornmeal, salt, pepper.  Coat breast halves with mixture.  Heat oil in 10 inch skillet over med high heat until hot.  Cook chicken in oil 15-20 min turning once, until juice is no longer pink from center of thickest part of chicken


 CORNMEAL CRISPY CHICKEN            `                              

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts                                 1 egg, beaten                       

3/4 c yellow cornmeal                                                        1/2 tsp dry basil                  

1/4 tsp dry oregano                                                            salt & pepper to taste        

1/4 c grated parmesan cheese                                         2TB lemon juice                                                  

Rinse & drain chicken, pat dry.  Place between 2 sheets waxed paper and pound to 1/3 inch thick.  Pour beaten egg in shallow bowl.  In shallow pan, combine basil, oregano, pepper, cornmeal, salt and cheese.  Brush chicken with lemon juice,  then dip in egg.  Coat with cornmeal-cheese mixture.  Let sit on rack for 20-30 min.  Cook chicken in

sprayed hot skillet, 4-7 min per side until thoroughly cooked, brown and crispy.



1 1/2 cups cornmeal                                                           1 1/2 cups boiling water

1/4 cup milk                                                                          1 tablespoon melted butter

1/4 cup sugar                                                                       1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix sugar, salt and cornmeal. Add milk, boiling water and melted butter. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Cook on greased pancake griddle.  (I found these a little tougher than the ones using egg, but passable if you are out of eggs.)



1 c cornmeal                                                                         1/2 c milk or water

1/2 tsp salt                                                                            1/2 tsp onion powder, flakes or onion salt

1 tsp baking powder

Mix above and shape into 1 inch balls. Deep fry in oil until well browned. Or make into cakes and pan fry.


CORN DOGS (these do use half flour)

1/2 c cornmeal                                                                     1/2 c flour                            

1 tsp baking powder                                                           1/4 tsp salt

1 TB sugar                                                                             1 TB shortening

1/2 c milk                                                                               2 cans Vienna Sausage

Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and mix well. Add the shortening and the milk. Stir into a smooth batter. Dip Vienna Sausages into the batter and coat each sausage generously.  Deep fry until golden brown.



2 c corn meal                                                                        1/2 c self rising flour

3 green onions, chopped                                                   1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard                                                             1 TB melted butter

broth from cooked greens (pot likker)                                           

Combine dry ihngredients.  Add enough hot liquid from greens to make a stiff dough.  Moisten hands with water.  Spoon dough into hands, form into your hands.  Mold into a patty, lay in boiling water from greens.   Be sure dumpling is submerged in liquid.  Cover, cook on slow boil 10-12 min. 

(To MAKE Self-rising flour, add 3/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp salt to your half cup of flour. )



1 cup (120g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix & use for baking when called for. 


I left out cornbread & corn muffin recipes because they are more easily found than these and also tend to use flour quite a bit. And i almost forgot:


CORNMEAL GRAVY (also known as sawmill gravy) Has a different texture than flour gravy, but not bad...just different.

1/4 to 1/2 c bacon grease or other fat                      1 c cornmeal

      (lard works here)                                              3 cups water, milk, or combination

seasoning to taste

Melt grease, let get very hot (pop-corn hot).  Add meal, stir until it browns.  Add liquid, cook and stir constantly until thickened.




Edited by kappydell
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