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Locally grown cornmeal comes to Bainbridge for Thanksgiving

Locally grown cornmeal? Count on Betsey Wittick to go where no farmer has gone before -- I’ve not heard of anyone growing flint corn around here before. Betsey harvested her first crop this year. And she’s grinding it all up by hand to bring to the Winter Market. Read on for a couple of Thanksgiving recipes using cornmeal. The first is Indian Pudding, a traditional finale to a New England Thanksgiving. I found this recipe on Simply Recipes; it is adapted from an old cookbook. After that is a recipe for cornbread to be used in cornbread stuffing. Once you’ve made the cornbread, you can use it in the recipe shown, or in any of the thousands of recipes for cornbread stuffing to be found on the Internet.
Indian Pudding Recipe
  • 6 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

1 Scald the milk and butter in a large double boiler. Or heat the milk and butter for 5 or 6 minutes on high heat in the microwave, until it is boiling, then transfer it to a pot on the stove. Keep hot on medium heat.

2 Preheat oven to 250°F.

3 In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, and salt; stir in molasses. Thin the mixture with about 1/2 cup of scalded milk, a few tablespoons at a time, and then gradually add the mixture back to the large pot of scalded milk. Cook, stirring until thickened.

4 Temper the eggs by slowly adding a half cup of the hot milk cornmeal mixture to the beaten eggs, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture back in with the hot milk cornmeal mixture, stir to combine. Stir in the sugar and spices, until smooth. At this point, if the mixture is clumpy, you can run it through a blender to smooth it out. Stir in the raisins (optional). Pour into a 2 1/2 quart shallow casserole dish. Bake for 2 hours at 250°F.

5 Allow the pudding to cool about an hour to be at its best. It should be reheated to warm temperature if it has been chilled. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Serves 8-10.
Corn Bread for Stuffing

Makes about 4 cups

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • In a bowl stir together the flour, the cornmeal, the baking powder, and the salt. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, the egg, and the butter, and stir the mixture into the cornmeal mixture, stirring until the batter is just combined. Pour the batter into a greased 8-inch-square baking pan and bake the corn bread in the middle of a preheated 425°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is pale golden and a tester comes out clean. Let the corn bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a rack, and let it cool completely.
  • Crumble the corn bread coarsely into 2 shallow baking pans and toast it in the middle of a preheated 325°F oven, stirring occasionally, for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is dried and deep golden.

Recipe by Zanne Stewart, as appeared in Gourmet Magazine, November 1990

World’s Best Cornbread Stuffing

·         2 hot Italian sausages

·         2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·         1 cup chopped carrot

·         1 cup chopped celery

·         1 cup chopped onion

·         Kosher salt

·         Freshly ground black pepper

·         1/2 bunch fresh sage, leaves chopped

·         4 large corn muffins (if you’ve made the cornbread, use it instead)

·         3 large eggs

·         1/2 cup, chicken stock, plus more if needed

·         Nonstick cooking spray

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove the casings from the sausages. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage meat. Cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside to cool while you cook the vegetables. Wipe out any excess fat from the pan with paper towels.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper and add the sage. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool a bit.
  • Crumble the corn muffins into a large bowl. Put in the cooled sausage and vegetables. Add the eggs and 1/4 cup chicken stock. Using your hands, mix well; adding more stock if the stuffing is too dry.
  • Spray a 2-quart ovenproof baking dish with cooking spray. Put the stuffing into the dish and bake 45 minutes-1 hour, or until the top is browned and crispy.

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