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From My Kitchen: Our Favorite Breakfast

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2013 May Issue Newsletter

By Rebecca Buell

Five or so years ago, I was gifted some beautiful  blue flour corn seeds grown for generations by a  people living in the southwest. Since then those  seeds have flourished in the very different 
climate here in New England and fed my family well in so many ways.
 
Our favorite is this simple breakfast, sometimes  called atolé, sometimes called “blue corn mush”.  
 
Blue Corn Mush/Atolé
 
The first step is to toast the corn. Heat an  ungreased skillet or clay comale over a hot flame.  Add your corn kernels (removed from the cob) and  start to stir. Be careful not to add too many, or  they will jump all over the floor. Continue stirring, in circles and back and forth. As the corn toasts, it  will change color, make popping noises, and start to crack open a bit. This is good. When there is a lot of popping, remove the pan from the heat, but continue to stir. I like to put the corn back onto the fire to toast just another minute or so. Have  two baskets ready and pour the hot kernels into one. Then pour the corn back and forth between the baskets to cool.
 
Once cool, it’s time to grind! Anyone have a stone  metate and mano? I use my electric kitchen grain mill, though you can also use a coffee grinder. I recommend only grinding the amount you need so the flour won’t go rancid. The toasted kernels can be stored for later use.
 
I like to use 1 cup ground corn to 3 cups of water for a good sized meal for me and my son. You can change the ratio for a thicker or thinner porridge. Boil half the water with a pinch of salt. 
 
Meanwhile, mix the remaining water with ground corn, making a slurry. When the water is boiling, add the slurry, stir well for 15 seconds or so, turn the heat down to low, and partially cover. When the porridge is bubbling (well, gurgling kind of) stir some more. When the consistency is just right, it’s done! I like to add milk and honey, or berries and maple syrup. Or make a thicker version and serve with eggs. Leftovers can be formed into patties and fried (but we never have leftovers).
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