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A Virtual Cornucopia!

January 19, 2012

I know the title is a little corny for a post about corn, but…

One thing that being gluten-free has driven home to me is the versatility of corn.  Cornbread, grits, polenta, on the cob or in a can.

I love starches.  Pre-celiac one of my favorite foods was pasta.  I could, and did many times, eat it with just butter.  I used to say I wanted to go to Italy and eat my way from one end to the other.  I’ve already discussed my love of white rice, and potatoes are obviously a staple.  But since pasta and bread were largely taken off the menu, I have discovered, or, in some cases rediscovered, corn in its many forms and fashions.

As I write this, I am enjoying the best bowl of grits I’ve ever had.  Now, in fear of opening myself up to ridicule at a later date like Paula Deen, I’ve always believed that if a dish just wasn’t quite there, or wasn’t good at all…or…even if it blew your socks off…add a little butter or cream and make it even better.  I always loved this Miller High Life commercial.  That’s my philosophy in a 30 second nutshell.  So, as you might imagine, there’s a measure of butter and cream in these grits.  Mmmmmm.

Starches need fat.  Vegetables need salt.  Some things are simply true.  Like the laws of physics.  Think of gravity.  Cornbread needs bacon grease.  Grits need butter.  Polenta needs…well, I’m still working on my polenta, but you get the picture.

Anyway, back to the issue.  Corn.  Besides these killer grits, I’ve learned to make a pretty good g-free cornbread using corn flour.  As well as hush puppies.  Also, at the Gluten-free Expo here in Dallas last year, I discovered corn pasta.  The closest thing to wheat pasta I’ve found.  I’ve heard about a rice flour/corn flour blend out there that I’ve yet to try but will soon.  A couple things about the corn pasta though…it takes a long time to cook and it is quite filling.

Now, I mentioned the polenta being a work in progress.  My first mistake was buying the ready-made sausages of polenta at the store.  I don’t recommend it.  I tried making polenta croutons out of it for my killer tomato soup on Christmas Eve, but was quite disappointed.  I’ve also tried it grilled and sauteed, and it just never seems to want to brown.  I made my first polenta from scratch a few weeks ago and it was much better.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with it.  I tried yet again to make the croutons but was still not happy with the result.  Back to the drawing board.  But the polenta itself shows promise, and I can’t wait to make a roasted garlic and basil version.

Then, of course, there is always sweet corn on the cob.  Or frozen.  Or in the can.  The stuff is just good.  But…something’s not quite right.  Oh yeah.  Butter.  Mmmmmmmm.


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  1. Lisa Pistoria permalink

    Share any recipes you come up with for the polenta because I’m interested to try it. I’ve only had it 2 or 3 times in restaurants and I thought it was pretty good!

  2. linda k. stevens permalink

    mmmm….i truly do think corn is fantastic! i had my first salad w/ corn in it when i was in texas. that opened a whole new thought process concerning corn.

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